Rushan Abbas is the founder and executive director of the Campaign for Uyghurs.
Abbas has been an activist since her time as a student in East Turkistan, where she organised pro-democracy protests through the 1980s.
She established the Campaign for Uyghurs in 2017 to fight for the human rights and democratic freedoms of Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples oppressed by the Chinese Communist Party. In 2018 Abbas’ own sister was abducted by Chinese authorities and sentenced to a prison term in retaliation for her activism against their genocidal policies.
Abbas continues to be a prominent voice for the human rights of the people of East Turkistan and often speaks for interfaith organisations, universities, and think tanks, as well as testifying at congressional hearings. She often briefs and advises US and international government officials, while frequently working with the US State Department.
She has written Op-Eds for The Washington Post, USA Today, and the Index on Censorship, among others, and appeared in AP, BBC, CNN, NBC, NPR, The New York Times, The Guardian, Aljazeera, and many more.
She received the 2019 Freedom Fighter Award in recognition of her achievements.