Abduweli Ayup

Abduweli Ayup is a Uyghur activist born in Kashgar, China, in 1973.

In August 2013, Ayup was detained by Chinese authorities for his efforts to promote Uyghur linguistic rights by opening schools to teacher children the Uyghur language. His detention lasted until November 2014. During this time, he faced harsh interrogation and abuse. Ayup recounted being subjected to interrogation techniques involving threats, physical violence, the tiger chair, and psychological pressure. He described being detained in various facilities, including the Yanbulaq Detention Center in Kashgar and the Urumqi Detention Center, where he witnessed and experienced beatings and sleep deprivation among other forms of mistreatment.

Throughout his ordeal, Ayup maintained his innocence, enduring beatings while refusing to confess to false accusations of involvement in separatist activities or illegal fundraising. After 15 months in detention, Ayup fled China with his family to Turkey.

In 2016, Ayup founded the non-profit Uyghur Hjelp to investigate and document the plight of Uyghurs and advocate for their cause. He has continued his efforts to open Uyghur language schools and publish Uyghur language textbooks in the diaspora.



China’s Persecution of Uyghurs, with Abduweli Ayup

Uyghur activist, linguist, and former political prisoner Abduweli Ayup, addresses the 16th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see below for his remarks.   Full Remarks: Good morning. I’m Abduweli Ayup. I’ve been fascinated by the Uyghur language since I was young.  Every year, around March 21st,