CFU PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 12, 6:00 PM ET
Sabrina Sohail: email@example.com
Campaign for Uyghurs (CFU) demands the immediate release of Dr. Gulshan Abbas as she spends her fifth birthday unjustly imprisoned by the Chinese communist regime. Dr. Abbas, who turns 61 today, was detained by the Chinese regime in September 2018 to retaliate against the unwavering activism of CFU Executive Director Rushan Abbas and her brother Dr. Rishat Abbas, President of the Uyghur Academy – International and a senior advisor to the World Uyghur Congress. Rushan Abbas had participated on a panel denouncing the Uyghur genocide and the oppressive policies imposed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in East Turkistan, shedding light on the plight of her detained in-laws. Only six days after this panel, the Chinese government forcibly abducted Dr. Gulshan Abbas, Rushan and Rishat Abbas’ sister. In response to the demands for the immediate release of Dr. Gulshan Abbas, Chinese state media launched a vicious disinformation campaign, accusing Rushan of fabricating a relative.
In December 2020, CFU learned that Gulshan Abbas had been secretly sentenced to prison on false charges. This information was later confirmed by Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry. The baseless charge of “terrorism” against Dr. Gulshan Abbas was a clear attempt by the Chinese regime to justify their unlawful detention and as transnational repression against American Uyghurs, Gulshan’s sister and brother.
In March 2023, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) determined that the Chinese authorities failed to provide any evidence of a legal basis for Dr. Gulshan Abbas’ detention, and called for her immediate release along with two other Uyghur intellectuals. The report also emphasized that the reason for Dr. Abbas’ unjust detention was her Uyghur identity and the Chinese regime’s refusal to acknowledge Uyghur people’s equality as human beings. The WGAD resolved to refer the case of Dr. Gulshan Abbas to the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, the Special Rapporteur on minority issues, and the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief for further consideration.
Ziba Murat, Gulshan Abbas’s daughter residing in the U.S., denies the false accusations made against her mother, emphasizing her gentle nature, non-political stance, and dedication to her patients’ well-being. Despite retiring early due to health reasons, Gulshan continued to offer support to patients, even in her free time by assisting villagers who needed medical care in Urumchi.
The Chinese regime’s transnational repression tactics have had a profound impact on Uyghurs in the diaspora, who face constant intimidation, coercion, and threats against their loved ones in East Turkistan for speaking out against the CCP’s genocidal policies. Dr. Gulshan Abbas is a tragic victim of this transnational repression and the Uyghur genocide.
Rushan Abbas said “The heinous abduction of my sister by the Chinese regime represents a shocking violation of her fundamental rights, further underscoring their ruthless and genocidal agenda designed to obliterate my people. Gulshan Abbas stands as an innocent casualty, a stark reminder of the inhumane crimes committed by the Chinese regime under the leadership of Xi Jinping.”
Dr. Rishat Abbas said, “It is imperative that we heighten our efforts and persistently bring to light the harrowing stories of countless individuals like my sister, unveiling these egregious atrocities before the international community and the world at large. We cannot, and will not, turn a blind eye to these abhorrent injustices that demand immediate action and we call on release of Gulshan Abbas and other innocent Uyghurs in detention.”
CFU demands the immediate release of all prisoners of conscience and hostages unlawfully held as instruments of coercion and oppression by the CCP. Moreover, CFU urgently calls upon the global community to dismantle the abhorrent genocidal policies specifically aimed at obliterating the rich cultural heritage and identity of the Uyghur people. CFU urges the United States to persistently champion the case of Gulshan Abbas and other prisoners of conscience in every engagement with Chinese counterparts, while reinforcing robust safeguards to protect activists in the United States from the perils of transnational repression.