FORCED ABORTION IN EAST TURKISTAN
My name is Erkin Mamat, 37 years old. I am a Uyghur from the Kashgar city of East Turkistan, officially known as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in People's Republic of China. I want to describe a situation I witnessed in my home town Kashgar before I left on March 28, 1998. I am a very religious person, I would not dare to say anything but the truth with the God in my heart.
A Typical Uyghur Girl in Kashgar, China
It is not secret that China enforces a Draconian birth control policy. But the way they implement this policy in East Turkistan is beyond the normal human being's imagination. More than 90% of the 2.5 million Uyghurs in Kashgar district are peasants live in poverty stricken countrysides. They are not equipped to take counter-conception measures. They either could not afford or do not know how to take preventive measures. Therefore, almost all of them are forced to have abortion one time or another, many of them have to do it several times. Because the regular hospitals can not meet the high demand for the forced abortions, the authorities established a place called "Center for the Protection of the Mothers' and Children's health" in Kashgar city. Regardless of the beautiful name, the center is one of the busiest, most productive as well as most dangerous abortion clinics in East Turkistan. Every weekday and weekend hundreds of pregnant Uyghur women are brought in from the surrounding countrysides for abortion surgeries. Some of them are nine month pregnant already. No human can stand looking at the sad and desperately helpless looking faces of those poor women standing on line against their will and religious beliefs for an operation sometimes costs their lives. In order to increase the productivity, the center employs unqualified doctors and nurses for whom the government bonuses based on the counts of abortions they perform seem to be more important than the health or lives of the poor women. I heard several women died from the carelessness of the Doctors. Suffering from severe permanent health damages from the abortion is becoming very common among Uyghur women. The center or any other hospitals are not held responsible for any damage they cause. All the problems resulted from the abortions are blamed on the women for getting pregnant when they are not allowed. On top of the forced abortions, healthy babies are given lethal injections as soon as they are born. The birth control practice the Chinese government in my hometown is horrible and inhumane. I beg the world community to do something to protect those helpless women and babies.
June 16, 1998
After Parhat Yasin presented his testimony on the religious persecution in East Turkistan at the June 16 hearing at US Congress, the host of the hearing Christopher Smith who is the Chairman of the Committee on International Relations asked several questions one of which was about birth control. Upon this question, I standed up from the audience and presented a statement on behalf of Erkin Mamut who just arrived in US on June 14 and were present at the hearing. Christopher Smith asked me to leave a written record of the testimony at his office after the hearing. However, his staff director told me that I can submit the statement within 4 days and it would be still included in the official record of the hearing testimony. I prepared the above statement based on what I said at the hearing and faxed it to the staff director of Christopher Smith. I also faxed two related articles along with it.
Translated from Uyghur by Huji Tuerdi
I, Huji Tuerdi, hereby certify that the above is an accurate translation of Erkin Mamut's story from my native language Uyghur.
June 18, 1998
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