Jewher Ilham is the daughter of Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti, an internationally noted moderate voice who was dedicated to bridging the gap between the Uyghur people and the Han Chinese. Jewher arrived in the United States in 2013, following the detention of her father at the Beijing airport, as both prepared to travel to Indiana University for Professor Tohti’s fellowship.
Jewher Ilham was 18 when she and her father were set to board a plane to visit the United States in 2013 and Chinese authorities stopped and arrested him.
Jewher and her father are Uighur Muslims, a persecuted ethnic minority group. “The Chinese government [has] been making people disappear,” Jewher said. “People could be taken on the street or their home and sent to a so-called concentration camp.”
She was among the survivors of religious persecution featured during the U.S. Department of State’s 2019 Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. Learn more about her story and the treatment of Uighurs in China in the video above.
This video is part of an ongoing series documenting the faces of religious persecution. Others include the story of Pastor Andrew Brunson.
Dr. Olsi Yazeji is a Canadian-Albanian historian who is specialized in the history of Islam, nationalism and religious reformation in Southeastern Europe and he holds a fairly negative attitude against the US led western powers, especially their policy in Albania. This is probably one of the reasons why the Chinese government invited him as one of the reporters on the pre-arranged “visit” in Xinjiang (a.k.a. East Turkistan) to tell the world via these reporters that concentration camps are just a false propaganda by the US led western powers. However, Dr. Olsi Yazeji and other reporters from India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Turkey have all witnessed modern-day real concentration camps from George Orwell’s 1984 and a brutal gross human rights violation.
First 9 minutes of the program below is about Uyghur atrocity and China’s cracking down on Ramadan
CNN-Uyghur-American activist seeks answers about China’s Muslim camps
For the last sixteen years, the Chinese Communist Party has been telling the Chinese people and the world at-large that it is waging its own “war on terrorism” in the Uyghur homeland of Xinjiang, known to Uyghurs as “East Turkestan.” Xinjiang has since become the most heavily garrisoned and surveilled part of the People’s Republic of China. As many as one million Uyghurs are now detained in Communist Party “political re-education” camps, where they have been subject to torture, medical maltreatment, and other abuses. Meanwhile, the “stability” of the region has become essential for PRC’s strategic “One Belt, One Road” initiative, and the Communist Party has used its influence around the world to stifle criticism of the human rights emergency in Xinjiang that it has created. What is at stake for the Chinese Communist Party in Xinjiang? How has the PRC’s conduct and repression in Xinjiang affected its foreign relations, including with Pakistan, the countries of Central Asia, and the Middle East? What do we know about the policy debates among Chinese authorities and the people of China concerning Xinjiang and what, if any, are the dissenting views? What does the PRC’s conduct in Xinjiang tell us about the nature of the Communist Party’s power and the PRC’s ambitions to transform itself into a superpower? On September 5, Hudson Institute hosted a discussion on the PRC’s “war on terrorism.” The panel will include Dr. Michael Clarke, associate professor at the Australian National University; Louisa Greve, director of external affairs for the Uyghur Human Rights Project; Andrew Small, a senior transatlantic fellow at the German Marshall Fund; Sean Roberts, an associate professor at George Washington University; and Rushan Abbas, a former Uyghur Service journalist with Radio Free Asia. The discussion was moderated by Hudson senior fellow Eric Brown.