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    The New Yorker | Ben Mauk | 2/26/21 | 32 min
    5 reads3 comments
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    The New Yorker
    5 reads
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    • DellwoodBarker
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      11 hours ago

      Essential Read. Painful and reminiscent of the recent read about the young guy released from North Korea. These reads put tears in my eyes. Make us grateful for what we have and present a shocking foreign reality that is hard to wrap the mind around existing in 2021.

      As an optimist I look for the Rays of Light:

      Otarbai spent fifteen days in Tacheng’s regional hospital recovering from an appendectomy. Guards watched him constantly. After he returned to the camp, he relied on Koksebek, the herder, to bring him food and massage his limbs. The men began calling each other “brother.” Each assured the other he soon would be released.

      Beautiful!

      Today, Otarbai suffers from chronic pain and memory loss, which he attributes to his long imprisonment and the torture he suffered. Yet he was the funniest and most lighthearted of the former detainees that I met. While imprisoned, he decided that, if he were ever released, he would raise his children in an atmosphere of total freedom. “Almost all the doors of the furniture are broken now,” he told me. “But I never scold them, because I really understand what prison is. I want them to be free of everything.”

      Good man and father!

    • bill
      Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
      1 day ago

      Yes to what Jeff already said. When I read stories like this it makes a lot of stuff happening here in the United States seem pale in comparison, but still very frightening because you can see where it leads.

      Seriously chilling. Important reading for everyone everywhere I think.

    • jeff
      Top reader this weekTop reader of all timeReading streakScout
      1 month ago

      Wow. This article is incredibly bleak but I couldn't take my eyes off the screen once I started reading. Terms like "police state" and "Orwellian" are thrown around a lot but the accounts described in this article really do read like something right out of 1984. Western China sounds a lot like North Korea.