UHRP Board Chair named to TIME’s 100 most influential people

For Immediate Release
September 22, 2020 10:01 PM EDT
 
Uyghur Human Rights Project
Contact: Omer Kanat +1.202.790.1795,  Peter Irwin +1 (646) 906-7722
 

UHRP Board Chair Nury Turkel has been named one of the world’s 100 most influential people by TIME. 

Born in one of Mao Zedong's hard-labor camps, Mr. Turkel was appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) in May 2020.

Mr. Turkel, an attorney, co-founded the Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) in 2003 and served as its first executive director. He has served as the Chair of the UHRP Board of Directors since 2016 and is a past president of the Uyghur American Association. 

“Nury’s stature as one of the most influential people of 2020 is a recognition that the Uyghur crisis is a global crisis,” said UHRP Executive Director Omer Kanat. “Without urgent international action, the Chinese government’s campaign of genocidal repression will succeed in wiping out our people.”

“Two decades ago, Nury’s strategic vision for promoting Uyghurs’ human rights launched the Uyghur Human Rights Project,” Mr. Kanat continued. “Today, his place on the world stage means that Uyghurs can dare to hope that global action will save our people at the 11th hour.”

In his capacity as UHRP Board Chair, Mr. Turkel has testified before policymaking forums around the world, including U.S. Congressional briefings on Forced Labor, Mass Internment, and Social Control in Xinjiang, China’s Repression and Internment of Uyghurs, and the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which the U.S. House of Representatives passed today.

As a USCIRF Commissioner, Mr. Turkel leads advocacy to combat religious persecution in China, particularly the horrific repression of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims, Tibetans, and Christians, as well as anti-Semitism and other forms of ethno-religious persecution in Europe, Uzbekistan, and beyond. 

See also: 

The U.S. Must Use the New Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act to Sanction Chinese Officials for Religious Persecution, TIME, June 8, 2020

Nury Turkel at the 2020 Geneva Summit for Human Rights, Geneva Summit, March 17, 2020

The Uyghur Crisis: China's Cultural Genocide, Oslo Freedom Forum, June 3, 2019

Uighur lawyer Nury Turkel says Australia should sanction Chinese officials, The Australian Financial Times, December 14, 2018