Rushan Abbas came to the United States from China in 1989 as a student and saw Chinese students here protesting for democracy in their home country just as they were back in China.
But when the Communist Chinese government ordered troops into Tiananmen Square, killing hundreds to thousands of protesters and bystanders, Abbas, an ethnic Uyghur from the Xinjiang region, decided to stay in America and become a citizen.
In 2017, she founded the Campaign for Uyghurs, an international effort to bring attention to the plight of the Muslim people living in the region for thousands of years before China took control in 1886.
Appearing Monday on Newsmax TV, she shared her story on "The Record With Greta Van Susteren."
In 2018, Rushan Abbas participated in a panel at The Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C., to discuss China's genocidal policies.
Among the topics, she told Van Susteren, were the "conditions of those concentration camps, outlining the fate of my in-laws, which is my husband's entire family, was missing."
Included were 24 people, including her husband's parents, three of her sisters-in-law, her husband's brother-in-law, his wife, and 14 of their children.
"I talked about them," she said, adding "six days after that speech. She was abducted basically by the police from her home."
Her sister, five years her senior, was a retired doctor who was never involved in politics, Abbas said. Obviously, she said, her sister was taken for retaliation over her own speaking out in the United States.
Her sister's two daughters also are in America, and neither they nor anyone else has heard from her since her arrest.
"I don't even know if she's alive," Abbas said.
Immediately after her sister's disappearance, Abbas took to the major media to publicize the incident, but the Chinese government accused her using someone else's photo, she said, "and then spreading rumors about my missing relatives. My missing sister, basically, although I was carrying my sister's picture everywhere I go."
On Christmas Day 2020, they heard from a third party that her sister had been sentenced to 20 years on terrorism-related charges, something Abbas said was nonsense for a "simple ordinary citizen" like her sister.
"So we did the press conference with the Congressional Executive Committee on China," Rushan Abbas said.
When a reporter asked about the situation the next day at the Chinese Foreign Ministry's press conference next day, the spokesperson replied, "Gulshan Abbas was criminal and charged in accordance with Chinese government's law, and she's serving her sentence," according to Rushan Abbas.
"So I was like, OK, which one? Am I a liar who's spreading rumors, making up my sister's story, or is she a criminal?" Abbas continued. "In reality today, I'm talking to you. I'm doing my advocacy work at the cost of my loving sister's freedom. She's paying the price over there as a hostage."
Abbas has since quit her full-time job to advocate for the Uyghur cause. Chinese government authorities claim they are held in "reeducation centers," but those who have made it out describe them as anything but, Abbas said.
"Actually, the most horrific things that no one can imagine happens in the 21st century," she said. "The workers are subject to ... forcibly giving up any kind of ethnic identity. They cannot speak their own language. They are forced to speak Chinese. They have to forsake their religion. And they are subject to very heavy indoctrination with Chinese political ideologies, communist ideologists. But they are also subject to mass systematic rape, forced sterilizations."
People are also crowded into a room tightly that they have to take turns lying down to sleep, and they have no toilet facilities.
"Basically, the Chinese government is not doing mass killing or gassing out people," she said, "but they are using any way they can to make people just die and disappear."
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