Where are the Imams? Evidence for mass detention of Uyghur religious figures
Against the backdrop of the mass arbitrary detention of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims by the Chinese government, the Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) will present preliminary findings of an upcoming report focusing on the detention of Uyghur imams and other religious figures since 2016. The speakers will present evidence of the treatment of imams and religious figures within the context of mass detentions, and discuss the Chinese government strategy targeting influential Uyghur figures.
Thursday, November 19, 2020
9:00–10:30 a.m. EST/3:00–4:30 p.m. CET
Abduweli Ayup is a Uyghur linguist, currently living in Bergen, Norway, as a Fellow with the International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN). He received his Master’s Degree in Linguistics from the University of Kansas in 2011. After returning to China, he promoted social and cultural rights through promotion of Uyghur-language education. He was imprisoned in 2013-2014, and suffered months of incommunicado detention and torture. His career as a human-rights defender and advocate for linguistic rights is covered in an in-depth UHRP report published in May 2019, “Abduweli Ayup and the Movement for Uyghur Mother Tongue-Based Education.”
Rachel Harris is Professor of Ethnomusicology at SOAS, University of London. Her research focuses on expressive culture, religion, and the politics of heritage in China’s Muslim borderlands. She led the Leverhulme Research Project “ Sounding Islam in China” (2014-2017) and now heads a British Academy Sustainable Development Project to revitalize Uyghur cultural heritage in the diaspora (http://www.meshrep.uk/). Her new monograph Soundscapes of Uyghur Islam is published by Indiana University Press, and her latest co-edited volume Ethnographies of Islam in China is published by University of Hawaii Press.
Peter Irwin is the Senior Program Officer for Advocacy and Communications at the Uyghur Human Rights Project. He is an MSc graduate of Human Rights from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), where he conducted research on China’s engagement at the UN and its relationship to the framing of the Uyghur issue internationally. He is the former Program Manager and Spokesperson for the World Uyghur Congress, where he worked primarily as the UN representative for Geneva-based human rights mechanisms, as well as with national governments and civil society. As English-language spokesperson, he regularly offered commentary to media including Reuters, Foreign Policy, the New York Times, the Guardian, Deutsche Welle, Süddeutsche Zeitung and South China Morning Post, among others, and has appeared on media outlets such as BBC News World, Al Jazeera and Reuters TV. He has also written original pieces for the Guardian, the Independent, Hong Kong Free Press and the Diplomat.
Moderator: Nicole Morgret, Project Manager, Uyghur Human Rights Project