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the Uyghurs

Uyghurs are ethnically and culturally Turkic people living in the area of Central Asia commonly known as East Turkistan, which the Chinese government controls through what many scholars recognize as a settler-colonial occupation.

Today, the Uyghur homeland has been turned into a high-tech police state with ubiquitous surveillance blanketing cities and villages. Since 2017, the Chinese government has carried out an ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity, arbitrarily detaining an estimated 1.8–3 million Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples in concentration camps and hundreds of thousands more in the prison system. Uyghurs have been subject to atrocity crimes that include arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, forced labor, torture, sexual violence, coercive birth prevention campaigns, and the widespread destruction of cultural and religious sites.

The Uyghur Region is vast, constituting one-sixth of the total land area under the control of the People’s Republic of China. The Uyghurs have a rich cultural history going back almost 4,000 years. Before embracing Islam in the tenth century, Uyghurs practiced Buddhism, Manichaeism, and Nestorian Christianity, and speak a distinctive language written in Latin, Cyrillic, and Arabic alphabets.

East Turkistan has a rich and distinctive history, enhanced by its position in Central Asia, part of the ancient Silk Road bridging Turkic, Arabic, Persian, and European cultures to the west with China to the east.

Source:  © Uygur Rights Human Rights Project

Human Rights

Listen to
Their Stories

Rabia Qadeer

Uyghur leader Rebiya Kadeer reveals the plight of her people under the repressive Chinese government. Like the Tibetans, the Uyghurs are living in an open prison, forced to abandon their culture, subjected to torture, imprisonment, and execution for speaking out. 

Akida Pulat

More than one million Uyghurs are currently detained in China’s mass network of concentration camps, where they are regularly subject to torture, forced abortions, severe mental and bodily harm, and even forced labor. Young Uyghur activist Akida Pulat discusses how this system of abuse has impacted her family, and shares what companies, organizations, governments, and the general public should do in response to the Chinese government’s atrocities.

Anastasia Lin

Anastasia Lin is not your typical beauty queen. Since she was crowned Miss World Canada in 2015, Anastasia has used her platform to advocate for human rights in China. She draws attention to the illegal harvesting of organs from prisoners of conscience. Ethnic Uyghurs and Tibetans, as well as Falun Gong practitioners, are most at risk of having their organs sold in China’s growing black market.

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with Uyghur Human Rights Advocates

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Kuzzat Altay is a leading Uyghur American human rights activist. In 2019, Altay has been elected as President of Uyghur American Association, the largest organization representing the interests of ethnic Uyghurs in America

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Rushan Abbas is an Uyghur American activist and advocate from Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China. She is the founder and executive director of the nonprofit, Campaign for Uyghurs.

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Gulchehra  Hoja is an Uyghur journalist, reporter & TV webcaster. After joining RFA in the U.S., Gulchehra was sent a “red notice” from China, banning her from returning home. Today, two dozen of her family members are in detainment camps – face “cultural genocide”.

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Rayhan Asat is a Yale World Fellow, human rights lawyer, and advocate. A graduate of Harvard Law School and former anti-corruption attorney at a major U.S. law firm, Rayhan specializes in international law, international human rights law, and compliance with best business practices. Her legal and policy work centers around enforcing international human rights norms, civil liberties, curtailing forced labor, and promoting corporate accountability. 

Get to know
Uyghur Human Rights Institutions



The Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) promotes the rights of the Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim peoples in East Turkistan. UHRP publish reports and analysis, in English and Chinese, to defend Uyghurs’ civil, political, social, cultural, and economic rights according to international human rights standards.



Established in 1998, the Uyghur American Association (UAA) is a non-partisan organization with the chief goals of promoting and preserving Uyghur culture, and supporting the right of Uyghur people to use peaceful, democratic means to determine their own political futures.



End Uyghur Forced Labor is a coalition of civil society organizations and trade unions united to end state-sponsored forced labor and other egregious human rights abuses against people from the Uyghur Region in China, known to local people as East Turkistan.

EUFL calls on leading companies to ensure that they are not supporting or benefiting from the pervasive and extensive forced labour of the Uyghur population and other Turkic and Muslim-majority peoples, perpetrated by the Chinese government.


Sign up your organisation as an endorser of the Call to Action on Human Rights Abuses in the Uyghur Region

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