Dear Friends and Allies,
As we approach the end of 2023, we want to extend our deepest appreciation for your support and dedication to the Uyghur cause. It has been instrumental in shaping a remarkable year of achievements for Campaign for Uyghurs (CFU).
Empowering Uyghur youth and women lies at the core of CFU’s mission, with the goal of cultivating them into advocates for their community. Throughout the year, we orchestrated four comprehensive training workshops held in Tokyo (Japan), Istanbul (Turkey), Adelaide (Australia), and Vienna (Austria). These immersive sessions served as a platform for more than 100 dynamic Uyghur women and youth to gain essential tools and insights from field experts. The training program topics spanned from government advocacy and campaign building to countering misinformation and leveraging art and media for effective advocacy.
Throughout 2023, your support has empowered us to initiate or actively participate in 218 advocacy events, spanning international forums, panels, meetings with government officials, lawmakers, activists, diplomats, civil society, journalists, universities, and think tanks. Our engagement extended to students at 15 universities globally, and we took pride in delivering lectures at esteemed institutions like Panteion University in Greece, Harvard University, and the Hinckley Institute of Politics. With your support, we countered the Uyghur genocide in 19 countries, including Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, the Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Poland, Taiwan, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The documentary “In Search of My Sister,” which highlights CFU Executive Director Rushan Abbas, academic experts, survivors and various Uyghurs in the diaspora, was screened in six countries this year. Notably, the film was also translated into Chinese and Turkish for the first time, reaching and resonating with audiences in Turkey and Taiwan.
With 75 press releases published, our efforts have not gone unnoticed. CFU was able to bring media attention to the Uyghur genocide around the world, receiving coverage in at least 119 prominent outlets including Financial Times, Vogue Business, Radio Free Asia, BBC, Irish Times China Project, Epoch Times, Rolling Stone, ABC7 news, Fox 17, Voice of America, and the Taipei Times. The CFU Twitter page has experienced a 26 percent increase this year, and our Twitter page in Turkish grew by an astounding 132 percent!
CFU led campaigns that contributed to the passage of crucial bills such as H.R. 1154 The Stop Forced Organ Harvesting Act. Our Executive Director’s testimony during the The Congressional-Executive Commission on China’s (CECC) hearing on “Countering China’s Global Transnational Repression Campaign” was critical to raising awareness and urging the U.S. government to take a firm stand against the CCP’s retaliation against Uyghur American Activists.
As a founding member and steering committee member of The Coalition to End Forced Labour in the Uyghur Region (EUFL), CFU has reinforced alliances and partnerships to counter and raise awareness about the issue of Uyghur forced labor. This has been highlighted through our grassroots campaigns and support of Representatives Jennifer Wexton and Carlos A. Giménez in reintroducing the Uyghur Forced Labor Disclosure Act (UFLDA), a vital step in closing loopholes to the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act. Furthermore, CFU has actively engaged with stakeholders in the solar and electric industries, working diligently to create sustainable supply chains free from Uyghur forced labor.
This year, we also reached an organizational milestone in our advocacy efforts. CFU filed a comprehensive stakeholder submission for the fourth Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of China, shedding light on the genocide of Uyghur and other Turkic groups and providing the reviewing states with a set of suggested recommendations to stop human rights atrocities and hold China to account on its international obligations.
Last, we had the honor of participating in high profile meetings in order to further the Uyghur cause. CFU attended the State of the Union address (SOTU 2023), the World Affairs Council, and the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights. CFU Executive Director Rushan Abbas was invited to become the Chairperson on the Advisory Board of the Axel Springer Freedom Foundation and was recognized in Who’s Who in America.
In June 2023, we were recognized with Guidestar’s Platinum Seal of Transparency thanks to our commitment to fiscal responsibility and annually audited financial records. The U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken also recognized CFU for our significant contributions to human rights during his remarks on the 2022 International Religious Freedom Report.
None of these accomplishments would have been possible without your belief in our mission and your continuous support. As we reflect on the past year, we are filled with gratitude for the positive change we have created together.
The CFU website and our social media accounts have experienced many hacking and phishing attempts, with Chinese actors briefly taking down our website once. The CFU team has been facing libel, defamation, and harassment as a part of the CCP’s campaign of transnational repression. This lets us know – we are doing our job well as a prominent voice on the Uyghur Genocide. Despite these challenges, we remain resolutely committed to defending the human rights and freedoms of the Uyghur people and exposing China’s atrocities against them.
What Lies Ahead?
Looking ahead to 2024, we remain committed to our mission, anticipating new opportunities and greater impact. With your continued support, we are confident in our ability to build on these successes.
Thank you once again for being an integral to the work we do at Campaign for Uyghurs. Wishing you a joyous holiday season and a new year filled with hope, happiness, and positive change.
With heartfelt thanks,
The Campaign for Uyghurs Team