Uyghur youths demand Beijing to release their moms on Mother’s Day

As more than a million Uyghurs are believed to be interned in the re-education camps in Xinjiang, many Uyghur youths around the world have lost contact with their family members for more than two years now. On Mother’s Day, they sent a collective message to the world and the Chinese government, demanding the immediate release of their moms.

Ziba Murat has not heard anything about her mom for more than 20 months. The last time they talked on the phone, her mom shared some tips about childcare with her. “The last message she sent me was ‘when the baby sleeps, you should get some rest too,’” Murat said.

That message was sent on September 10, 2018, and from then on, Murat’s mother never responded to any messages or calls from her. Her mother, Gulshan Abbas, was a medical doctor who had to retire early due to health reasons. And since her disappearance, Murat and her aunt, Rushan Abbas, have been tirelessly advocating for her mother’s forced disappearance.

“My aunt has been advocating for her for more than 20 months,” said Murat. “We are getting nothing from the Chinese government, so it frustrates me and seems to be reminding me that I’m not doing enough. That’s why I’m stepping up my advocacy for her.”…Read More

Mistaken Identity: How Chinese Look at the Uyghurs

A Chinese Han, who happens to physically look like a Uyghur, opens a window on the relationships between the Han majority and the Uyghur minority in Xinjiang and beyond. – By Michelle Lee

Interacting with Uyghur friends

Growing up in an autonomous region of China, a Chinese Han whom I would call JiaNan Li (he prefers his real name not to be mentioned), never thought much of having classmates who were from ethnic minorities. “I was born in the 1980s, and even then, there weren’t many of them compared to Han Chinese” he says. “But I always had the overall impression that each of the minority groups was special.”…Read More

A Uyghur Man’s Letter to His Lost Mother

Haibehan Idris

Habibehan Idris

Abdulhakim Idris is a human rights activist and the husband of the well-known advocate for Uyghurs’ rights, Rushan Abbas. He does not know where his mother is.

by Abdulhakim Idris
Mr. Idris’ mother, Ms. Hebibehan Hajim

Dear Mother,

It was April 25, 2017, when I last heard your voice.

Today, it has been 1095 days. 3 years since our last phone conversation. I remember your trembling voice when you told me not to call you anymore.…Read More

Interview with Jewher Ilham, daughter of jailed activist Ilham Tohti

Source: Pen/Opp



APRIL 06 2020

he academic and activist Ilham Tohti had fought for twenty years for Uyghur rights and to enhance a dialogue between the Uyghur and the Han Chinese, before he was sentenced to lifetime imprisonment for ’separatism in 2014. PEN/Opp has interviewed his daughter Jewher Ilham who was with him when he was arrested at Beijing Airport. Today she does not know whether her father is alive or not.

…Read More

The Plight of Uyghurs in the Coronavirus Crisis: An Interview With Rushan Abbas by Family Research Council

by Family Research Council
March 26, 2020

The Chinese government’s persecution of Uyghurs, a small religious minority in China, is now one of the world’s most well-documented human rights crises. Though the coronavirus has taken its toll on China, the government’s assault on religious minorities hasn’t stopped. As a part of a larger campaign against all religions, the Chinese government has targeted Uyghurs, a mostly Muslim community, because of their religion and culture. The unique and brutal policies enacted by the Chinese government in Xinjiang, the region where most Uyghurs live (sometimes referred to by Uyghurs as East Turkistan), have placed particular hardships on residents during the coronavirus—something FRC has covered here.

Rushan Abbas, the founder of Campaign for Uyghurs, is familiar with the devastating policies of the Chinese Communist Party against Uyghurs. Her own sister, Gulshan Abbas, disappeared in September 2018 and is believed to be among the more than 1.8 million Uyghurs forcibly detained in what the Chinese government calls “Vocational Education and Training Centers” intended to “re-educate” detainees. The facts expose China’s excuses—Rushan’s sister was a medical doctor at a state hospital before she retired for health reasons and was not in need of “re-education.” The coronavirus crisis has only caused more international concern for the conditions of Uyghurs living in China, including Rushan’s sister.…Read More