Gulmire Zunun had been living in Australia for nine years and was looking forward to her father visiting from China. He was in his late 70s so he didn't want to delay.
Australia gave her dad a visa and he headed for the airport. But China's immigration authorities blocked him. After turning him back, China's authorities questioned the former school teacher.
They kept him under close scrutiny in his home city of Urumchi, capital of the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in far northwestern China. Yes, his crime was to be a member of the Uighur ethnic minority.
Two years later, Beijing launched its mass round-up of Uighurs to send them into its vast complex of detention centres, part of a system The Economist magazine calls "Apartheid with Chinese characteristics". The authorities picked up the old man, then aged 81.
He was told that he was being sent to live in an aged care facility, according to Gulmire, who lives in Sydney with her husband and two children.
But her dad was healthy and wanted to stay in his home. He explained that he had relatives who were happy to visit to give him any care he might need in future. To no avail. He disappeared into a so-called aged care facility where no visitors were allowed.
He was released after two years, near death. Zunun Niyazi died 20 days later, on August 26. "People are released before they die so they don't become statistics in the camps," Gulmire explains.
She dared not visit China to see him before he died. Her chances of returning to China and keeping her liberty were negligible. Any Uighur with contacts in the outside world is at the top of Beijing's detention list.
Gulmire did have a final conversation with her father on WeChat. But only because they borrowed someone else's phone and used fake names in addressing each other to avoid being shut down.
She says that her father was locked up "as a way to send a message to us here in Australia", she tells me through an interpreter, her husband, Mehmet Celepci.
The couple has been defying Beijing's intimidation tactics, speaking out for the Uighurs' plight. "Every Uighur family in Australia has a relative who has either died or is in a concentration camp at the moment, but cannot talk about it," says Mehmet of the 2000 or so Uighurs who call Australia home.
Beijing, it turned out, has set up a fake taxi service to disguise police cars.
"For the Uighur people, this is the end of the world," he says. This has been the living reality of the Uighurs for the last two years, a reality that China did its best to suppress and the outside world did its best to ignore.
As evidence mounted and governments around the world started to find their voices, the Chinese Communist Party stopped denying the existence of the camps. Instead, this year it launched a sanitation and propaganda campaign to present the camps as cheerful vocational education centres where Uighur people could choose to go to study useful skills.
But a Singaporean reporter who'd been on a "Potemkin Village" tour of one of the centres said that while the cover-up was impressive, tell-tale signs remained. "I noticed that the dormitory doors had no handles on the inside," she told me.
A Jordanian reporter who travelled to Xinjiang on a tourist visa in July at first thought that the reports of repression were all lies. “That’s the most dangerous thing about this issue for a tourist or a first-time visitor … life seems so normal, and even happy … The streets are so wide and so clean, and people are always well dressed, and that was so refreshing,” said Nihad Jariri.
Then she went into a mosque and tried to pray. Entry was fine but prayer forbidden. When the police realised that she wanted to nose around, they said they'd put her in a taxi back to her hotel. Or at least it was painted like one.
"From the outside looked like a taxi, but on the inside was nothing like one — there was no meter, no [payment system], no ID for the driver and no cameras,” she said. “The driver drove … very fast and did not stop at any checkpoint until he dropped me off at the hotel.”
Beijing, it turned out, has set up a fake taxi service to disguise police cars. She soon realised that the entire province is under heavy surveillance and repression: "There is one gigantic prison that is called Xinjiang," Jariri said in September.
In July, 22 countries including Australia issued a letter demanding that China close the camps and end the repression. Beijing quickly countered by getting 37 client states to put out a letter in praise of the "education centres".
But now incontrovertible evidence of China's program has emerged in the form of some 400 pages of Chinese government documents leaked to The New York Times.
The documents mainly just confirm that the crushing of the Uighur people is a systematic and ruthless repression designed to remove a "virus" from their thinking. Brainwashing and cultural genocide, in other words.
But they also reveal that China's president himself, Xi Jinping, personally led the program that today has perhaps a million, perhaps more Uighurs locked up and forced to forgo their Muslim religious practices and their ethnic culture, forced to drink alcohol, eat pork and speak only in Chinese.
The picture is much bigger, of course. Beijing's authoritarian impulse is limited only by its reach. Where it comes in contact with the world outside, there is attempted repression and liberty is at threat. It was an effort to bring Hong Kong within the reach of the Communist Party's judicial system that provoked the resistance that now spirals way out of control.
Paul Keating says that the Australia media is "hysterical" in its reporting of China.
But Beijing even demands that two Australian members of parliament surrender their free speech and freedom of thought if they want to visit China.
We know from The New York Times' documents that it was Xi Jinping himself who urged his officials to show "absolutely no mercy" to the civilian population of one of his own provinces, no matter how old or young they may be. Who, exactly, is being hysterical?