The Vine Basket is a young adult fiction novel that tells the story of a Uyghur girl – Mehrigul – who comes from a small village in East Turkestan (also known as Xinjiang) and faces challenges to finish the one task that could change her life, making a vine basket.
The story could better be described as the struggles of a young Uyghur girl who lives in an occupied land. This occupation affects her family on multiple levels, including their relationships with one another, living standards, education, and psychologically.
The Uyghur Human Rights Project’s oral history project, launched in 2012, is a video series of short, documentary-style recordings of the stories of Uyghurs in exile and the circumstances of their flight from China. The project’s goal is to present viewers with human rights abuses in East Turkestan through the stories of Uyghur people who have had to leave their homeland.
In UHRP’s interview with Kudrat Emin, recorded in March 2013 in Brooklyn, NY, Kudrat tells the story of how and why his family fled East Turkestan and immigrated to the US via Malaysia when he was just a boy of 10 years old.
Malaysia is not a nation that is immediately associated with Uyghur asylum seekers. However, the Southeast Asian nation has been the center of not one but two major Uyghur asylum-seeking scandals in the past two years. In both cases, Uyghur asylum seekers were secretly deported back to the People’s Republic of China despite the fact that the deported Uyghurs faced torture, imprisonment and possible execution. Continue reading →