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HomeAsiaManga artist documents Uyghur woman’s experiences in Xinjiang ‘re-education’ camp

Manga artist documents Uyghur woman’s experiences in Xinjiang ‘re-education’ camp

'Quick read' news summary

A famous writer and illustrator in Japan has produced a new manga booklet portraying the experiences of an ethnic Uzbek woman forced to teach Mandarin to mostly Uyghur detainees in ‘re-education’ camps in northwest China’s Xinjiang region.

Tomomi Shimizu’s latest work builds on her success with her previous booklets on female detainees in Xinjiang, released in Japan to draw attention to the repression of the mostly Muslim Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples in northwest China.

The Japan Uyghur Association in collaboration with the Japan Too’i Educational Film Producing Center has made a short film based on the new booklet to use as course material in classrooms and in the Japanese government to educate students and employees about human rights.

Shimizu has portrayed the experiences of female survivors of the vast network of detention camps in Xinjiang that are believed to have held up to 1.8 million Uyghurs and other Turkic minorities in recent years, in a purported effort to prevent terrorism and religious extremism by members of the predominantly Muslim group. 

Her latest work focuses on Qelbinur Sidiq, 53, also known as Kalbinur Sidik, who taught Mandarin Chinese at an elementary school in Xinjiang’s capital Urumqi for nearly three decades, and was forced by authorities in 2017 to teach the language in Xinjiang’s “re-education” camp system.

Sidiq, who was born in Xinjiang, also underwent a forced abortion and sterilization as part of a government campaign to suppress birth rates of Muslim women in the region.

Shimizu, who has published six other manga books detailing the persecution

A famous writer and illustrator in Japan has produced a new manga booklet portraying the experiences of an ethnic Uzbek woman forced to teach Mandarin to mostly Uyghur detainees in 're-education' camps in northwest China's Xinjiang region. Tomomi Shimizu's latest work builds on her success with her previous booklets on female detainees in Xinjiang, released in Japan to draw attention to the repression of the mostly Muslim Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples in northwest China. Sidiq, who was born in Xinjiang, also underwent a forced abortion and sterilization as part of a government campaign to suppress birth rates of Muslim women in the region.

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