List of diaspora voices

Last updated February 3, 2021

The following is a list of diaspora members of Uyghur, Kazakh, and other ethnic groups in Xinjiang. They range from longtime expatriates and children of immigrants to refugees trapped abroad with missing family. A very incomplete list.

  • Adila Yarmuhammad, a young poet and activist in Australia. (Twitter)
  • Akida Pulat is the daughter of prominent Uyghur folk culture scholar Rahile Dawut, who disappeared in December 2017 in Beijing. Akida, who lives in Seattle, runs www.freemymom.org, bringing attention to her mother's disappearance. Her interview with Darren Byler here is a moving account that I highly recommend reading all the way through. (Twitter)
  • Arfat "Alfred" Erkin, a student in Los Angeles whose father, a prominent journalist, was sentenced to prison in 2018 and has not been able to contact his son since then. (Twitter)
  • Aydin Anwar, and activist in the US who has interviewed countless overseas Uyghurs, including former prisoners of Guantánamo Bay. (Twitter)
  • Halmurat Harri Uyghur, an activist now living in Finland. Dr. Uyghur's mother and father were both detained and he has lost contact with them. (Twitter)
  • Jewher Ilham, daughter of imprisoned Uyghur economist Ilham Tohti. She is currently making a documentary about the Uyghur genocide. (Twitter)
  • Kewser Wayit, a young man in Chicago who has lost contact with his parents. Every day, he posts a short tweet as a diary entry addressed to his father. (Twitter)
  • Mehmet Tohti Atawulla, a graduate student in Turkey whose family has been detained. He writes about himself and his missing family members in this Medium post. The Party-affiliated media outlet Global Times calls him a liar ad a separatist, having interviewed his brother in a factory. It makes no mention of the other family members. (Twitter)
  • Nurdoukht Khudonazarova Taghdumbashi, author of "We have not heard from my Baba-jaan’s relatives in Kashgar for almost two years now" in daikon magazine. (Instagram)
  • Nyrola Elimä is an activist who lives and works in Sweden. Nyrola campaigned for the release of her cousin, Mayila Yakufu, for over two years; she was released in September 2020, only to be re-detained in December. Her story was detailed by CNN in this article. (Twitter)
  • Rahima Mahmut is an activist in the UK and member of the World Uyghur Congress, an organization much vilified by Beijing and denialists. Author of the recent essay, "Interpreting Witness Statements from the Uyghur Genocide" in Society and Space. (Twitter)
  • Subi Mamat Yuksel, daugther of Mamat Abdullah, a former official who has since been imprisoned after being taken away by authorities in April 2017. (Twitter)
  • Tahir Hamut Izgil is a renowned Uyghur poet living in exile in the United States. In this personal essay, Izgil describes how he and his wife denied their faith to avoid internment and decided to flee to the United States in fall 2017, shortly after the mass crackdown and reeducation campaign began. (Twitter)
  • Ziba Murat, an activist campaigning on behalf of her detained mother, Dr. Gulshan Abbas. Sister of RFA reporter Rushan Abbbas (who the Global Times considers a separatist and a liar). (Twitter)
  • Zulhumar "Humar" Isaac is a journalist living in Sweden. Her story was the subject of a longform article in the New York Times in January 2020. Her parents, Zohra Talip and Isaac Payzulla, were detained in November 2018 but released in March 2019 after media pressure. (Twitter)