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Uighur mother asks Congress to 'take strong action' against China's re-education camps

A Uighur mother who survived a Chinese re-education camp is calling on Congress to intervene in China's mass internment of the Muslim minority group.

"Over the last three years, I was taken to China's government detention centers three times. I spent a total of 10 months in the camps," a translator for Mihrigul Tursun told the Congressional-Executive Commission on China during testimony on Wednesday. The commission is chaired by Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioSunday shows preview: Trade talks, Cohen sentencing memo take center stage Meadows says 'too early to tell' if special House election should be held in North Carolina Kobach ‘very concerned’ voter fraud may have happened in North Carolina MORE (R-Fla.).

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Tursun said she was first arrested in 2015, and that her 2-month-old triplets were taken away from her. She told lawmakers that she was released after two months because of the ailing health of her children.

"My oldest son had died in their hands," the translator said, reading from Tursun's statement, as tears welled in Tursun's eyes.

During her second internment, Tursun said, she was tortured.

"I was interrogated for four days and nights without sleep," her statement said. "After being in the camp for three months, I kept having seizures and losing consciousness."

Tursun's statement described how she was tortured by electrocution in a "tiger chair."

"I thought I would rather die than go through this torture. I begged them to kill me," she said in her statement. "They told me my mother and son had died. My father was serving life in prison and that my family was torn apart because of me."

Tursun recalled the terrible conditions of the cells she was forced into and how many women died as a result of the internment. She recalled how other mothers agonized over the fate of their children.

"Please protect the Uighurs in America from the Chinese government's threats," she said. "Please help Uighur refugees around the world who will be taken to the camps if they are forced to return to China."

"I hope the U.S. government will take strong action against the officials responsible for torturing me and the death of my little boy and the deaths of so many innocent Uighur people," she added. "My people look to the United States as a beacon of hope. It is the only country that can tell China to stop its ethnic cleansing of the Uighur people."