Born in 1966 in Ghulja in the Xinjiang region, Gulbahar Haitiwaji was an executive in the Chinese oil industry before leaving for France in 2006 with her husband and children, who obtained the status of political refugees. In 2017 she was summoned in China for an administrative issue. Once there, she was arrested and spent more than two years in a re-education camp. Thanks to the efforts of her family and the French foreign ministry she was freed and was able to return to France where she currently resides.
Gulbahar’s memoir is an indispensable account, which makes vivid the stench of fearful sweat in the cells, the newly built prison’s permanent reek of white paint. It closely corresponds with other witness statements, giving every indication of being very reliable. Most impressive is her psychological honesty.
... viscerally affecting ... In this urgent and eloquent narrative, the author fashions harrowing depictions of daily humiliations at the camps ... A taut, moving, powerful account of an ongoing human rights disaster.
... rousing and courageous ... Haitiwaji’s forthright descriptions of her harrowing experience at a modern-day concentration camp—before she was released in 2019 with the help of her daughter—offers a sobering look at the horrific ways genocide is still being enacted today. This urgent testimony will serve as a wake-up call to Western readers.