China's War On Islam: Dolkun Isa Escaped Xinjiang and Interpol to Defend Uyghur Existence

Dolkun Isa speaks at a Uyghur rally (World Uyghur Congress)

By Ty Joplin  
Published October 11th, 2018 - 11:39 GMT

For most of his life, Dolkun Isa had been a wanted man.

A Uyghur from Xinjiang, a province in northwestern China, Isa is one of the most prominent voices in the international community advocating for Uyghur and Kazakh rights; minority groups that are now being systematically monitored and jailed en masse.

China considers him a terrorist and has been seeking his arrest for decades. Until February of this year, Isa had a red notice put out against him by Interpol, which called for him to be found and extradited to China on terror-related charges, despite being a peaceful dissident.

He is the President of the World Uyghur Congress, and has traveled the world speaking at international forums, parliaments and special committees all in the hopes of drawing awareness to China’s attempts at erasing his history and cultural heritage.

News began surfacing last year that China was detaining Uyghurs and forcing them into detention and re-education centers that are functionally concentration camps. But as Isa’s lived experience shows, China has been trying for decades to tightly control Uyghurs in Xinjiang, attempting the impossible task of disappearing an entire ethnicity.

Isa spoke with Al Bawaba about his upbringing and life on the run from Chinese authorities, and his struggles to reach his family, who are stilled trapped in Xinjiang.