Responding to Chinese Repression in Xinjiang

On August 7, 2019

On August 7, 2019, the U.S. Department of State hosted an interactive webchat to highlight the Chinese government’s repression of Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and other Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region. The goal of this discussion was to encourage and empower people, organizations, and governments to hold China to account for its violations of internationally recognized human rights.

A panel of experts on Xinjiang issues featuring a journalist and two prominent human rights advocates discussed a number of topics, including:

– The mass detention of Muslim minorities in Xinjiang.

– Increasing use of surveillance technology.

– Repression of religious and cultural expression.

– Chinese disinformation on the issue.

– How people can add their voices and efforts to the international community’s condemnation of China’s campaign of repression.

The speakers shared their insights, answered viewer questions, and helped us understand what is happening in China—and why it concerns us all.

Published on Aug 7, 2019

The original program streamed to:


Sophie Richardson is the China director at Human Rights Watch. She is the author of numerous articles on domestic Chinese political reform, democratization, and human rights in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Vietnam. She has testified before the European Parliament and the US Senate and House of Representatives.

Dr. Richardson has provided commentary to the BBC, CNN, Foreign Policy, National Public Radio, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. Dr. Richardson is the author of China, Cambodia, and the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.

Nury Turkel is a U.S.-based Uyghur rights advocate and attorney in Washington D.C. Turkel was born in a re-education camp in China’s Xinjiang region, and has been advocating for the rights of the Uyghur people in the region.

Turkel is the Chairman of the Board of the Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) and the former president of the Uyghur American Association (UAA). Turkel serves as a prominent voice for the Uyghur people by urging action against the repression of Uyghurs.

Alim Seytoff is the Director of the Uyghur Service at Radio Free Asia (RFA). He previously served as the Executive Director for the Uyghur Human Rights Project. In 1999 he started his career at RFA as a Production Coordinator and Broadcaster. Throughout his career has written many articles on China’s human rights violations of the Uyghur people.

Seytoff has been frequently interviewed/quoted by CNN, Al Jazeera, BBC, Fox News, PBS, Voice of America, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Foreign Policy, Christian Science Monitor, and the newswires.

Moderator: Scott Busby serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC, where he oversees the Bureau’s work on Africa, East Asia and the Pacific, Multilateral and Global Affairs, including U.S. engagement on human rights at the United Nations, disability rights, LGBTI rights, internet freedom, business and human rights, and International Labor Affairs.

Previously, he served as Director for Human Rights on the National Security Council in the White House from 2009 to 2011 where he managed a wide range of human rights and refugee issues. From 2005 to 2009, he was Coordinator of the Intergovernmental Consultations on Migration, Asylum and Refugees in Geneva, Switzerland.