China has detained my young children. I don't know if I'll ever see them again @SecBlinken I am a Uighur who was forced to flee Xinjiang five years ago, leaving four of my children who are now in an ‘orphan camp’ theguardian.com/commentisfree/…
When I left my children five years ago, I did it in a rush. I didn’t have time to grab any memento's, any toys. All I took was a single family photo. #Uighurs
At the time, my husband and I felt we had no choice. As Uighurs in Xinjiang, the Chinese authorities had been harassing us constantly and demanding that we give up our passports. There would be “consequences” if we didn’t.
There was also a strict birth control policy. They wanted to do a “body check” on me to see if I was pregnant, and I was.
We had managed to get visas to go to Italy, but we feared there would be questions at the border if we left with all our children at once. So we decided to take my then youngest son, and leave the four others w their grandparents until they could join us later on.
After we made it to Italy, the authorities started to target our family. My mother was taken to an internment camp, and my father was interrogated for several days before being taken to hospital. He was 80 years old.
Meanwhile, the children had no one. According to the Chinese government, they were the children of “betrayers”. Our other relatives could not take care of them because they were afraid that they would be sent to camps too.@SecBlinken
In November 2019, my father passed away. But that was also the month we received some good news, when the Italian government issued a permit to bring my children to Italy. Informing our children was a risk, because of surveillance of their communications @SecBlinken

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More from @MesMitch

14 Mar
'😡Kern runs on oil': as California confronts climate crisis, one county is ready to drill #ClimateAction theguardian.com/us-news/2021/m…
This week the county approved an ordinance that would allow thousands of new wells to be drilled over the next 15 years. The decision comes despite deep opposition from local farmers and environmental groups #ClimateEmergency
Farmers voiced concerns about how the land, water, and air would be affected, while justice advocates highlighted how increased pollution would take the harshest toll on the most vulnerable.#ClimateAction
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10 Mar
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Anger and criticism on social media
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Because the Turkish government controls which journalists are allowed to visit Afrin, the stories published by the pro-AKP publications are very similar to what was being published in the NYT. It is striking that the NYT opted not to cover human rights abuses in #Afrin
Several weeks ago, the Islamist Turkish daily newspaper Yeni Şafak cited a New York Times piece, praising Turkey’s presence in the Afrin province in northern Syria.

Yeni Şafak has a reputation as a pro-AKP newspaper with an established record of publishing hate speech
At first, this story appeared to be yet another false narrative published in furtherance of Turkey’s military aims. I assumed Yeni Şafak was only citing the ‘good part’ of the article from the NYT, and must have been leaving out the all-important context.#Afrin
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6 Mar
New Zealand also acted much quicker in implementing strict measures to limit travels and enforce social isolation and distancing to prevent the import cases and community spread early on.
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“As it spread rapidly around the world, we all saw people losing their loved ones and their livelihoods at a rate that was never acceptable to us. And so here in New Zealand we went hard and early with a single plan that had a dual purpose — and to protect lives and livelihoods.”
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5 Mar
Rethink or reset? Joe Biden's dilemma over Mohammed bin Salman
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theguardian.com/world/2021/mar…
This guy has waged war in the south of Saudi Arabia and created the worst humanitarian crisis that is not only a stain on Saudi Arabia but also on the US, on everybody who helped the Saudis wage this war. It’s still ongoing,” Abdullah Alaoudh, a Saudi academic said.
“Imagine he is now only a crown prince. Imagine he would rule for the next 40 years and be a king. What would he do?#Khashoggi
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5 Mar
Wisdom the albatross, the world's oldest known wild bird, has another chick at age 70❤
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