“ What A Relief Podcast ” 88: The Uyghur Human Rights Project

On this episode of the What a Relief Podcast B.C. Dodge interviews Zubayra Shamseden, who works with the Uyghur Human Rights Project in Washington, D.C.

Zubayra Shamseden speaks for the Uyghurs who can’t speak in China for fear of persecution, She advocates for Uyghur human rights in an area of China known to residents as East Turkistan.

The Uyghurs face intense pressure from China’s government not to practice their religion. Shamseden tells of community members who were jailed for life on false pretexts, or simply disappear. One million Uyghurs are reported to be detained in “re-education camps,” she said. The kind of “education” that happens there is horrific.

Shamseden’s own brother was jailed after a protest in 1997. Young people took to the streets to demand religious freedom and freedom of speech. The military opened fire toward the crowd, and then went house to house and arrested thousands of people — even people who didn’t take part in the protest, she said. Her brother was arrested and sentenced to life in prison.

“He wasn’t there, he wasn’t on the street protesting,” she said. “He was arrested simply because he happened to be in the city that day and because his friends were on the street.”

The government tightly restricts reporting and even visitors, Shamseden said.

Host B.C. Dodge asked if he would be allowed to travel to the area and meet with the Uyghurs. Tune in to the podcast to find out Shamseden’s answer.

**And now you can reach out to us at our new email address: warp@irusa.org!**

“What a Relief!” is the official podcast of Islamic Relief USA. Hosted by social media specialist B.C. Dodge, IRUSA’s “What a Relief!” puts a human face on what’s going on in the world and how you can enact positive change in it. New episodes every week!