Responding to Chinese Repression in Xinjiang

When: Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019 at 9:00 AM - 9:45 AM EDT

Event page and recording:

If hosting a viewing group: Contact Simon van Steyn

Promotional Materials & Speakers Bios: See below

YouTube recording of the program:


The Chinese government's repression of Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and other Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region of China is extensive and well-documented. The Chinese authorities’ tactics include: the suppression of Uighur language and customs, banning Islamic practices, economic discrimination and travel restrictions; and most recently, the mass detention of Uighurs in internment or "re-education" camps. As part of an effort to draw attention to these abuses, the U.S. Department of State will host an interactive webchat featuring journalists, human rights advocates, and a senior State Department official who have worked extensively on this issue. In this discussion, they will help us understand what is happening in China—and how we can hold the Chinese government to account for its actions. The panelists will discuss a number of topics, including: - The mass detention of Muslim minorities in Xinjiang. - Increasing surveillance technology as a tool of repression. - Chinese disinformation on the issue. - How people, organizations, and governments can add their voices and efforts to the international community’s condemnation of China’s campaign of repression. The speakers will also answer viewer questions and provide links to resources. This Facebook Live webchat will take place on Wednesday, August 7, from 9:00 - 9:45 a.m. EDT at


Scott Busby (moderator)
Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, U.S. Department of State

Scott Busby serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC, where he oversees the Bureau’s work on Africa, East Asia and the Pacific, Multilateral and Global Affairs, including U.S. engagement on human rights at the United Nations, disability rights, LGBTI rights, internet freedom, business and human rights, and International Labor Affairs. Previously, he served as Director for Human Rights on the National Security Council in the White House from 2009 to 2011 where he managed a wide range of human rights and refugee issues.

Sophie Richardson
China director, Human Rights Watch

Sophie Richardson is the China director at Human Rights Watch. She is the author of numerous articles on domestic Chinese political reform, democratization, and human rights in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Vietnam. She has testified before the European Parliament and the US Senate and House of Representatives. Dr. Richardson has provided commentary to the BBC, CNN, Foreign Policy, National Public Radio, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. Dr. Richardson is the author of China, Cambodia, and the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. @SophieHRW

Nury Turkel
Uyghur rights advocate and attorney

Nury Turkel is a U.S.-based Uyghur rights advocate and attorney at Covington & Burling LLP in Washington D.C. Turkel was born in a re-education camp in China’s Xinjiang region, and has been advocating for the rights of the Uyghur people in the region. Turkel is the Chairman of the Board of the Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) and the former president of the Uyghur American Association (UAA). Turkel serves as a prominent voice for the Uyghur people by urging action against the repression of Uyghurs. @nuryturkel

Alim Seytoff
Service Director, Uyghur Service at Radio Free Asia (RFA)

Alim Seytoff is the Service Director for the Uyghur Service at Radio Free Asia (RFA). He previously served as the Executive Director for the Uyghur Human Rights Project. In 1999 he started his career at RFA as a Production Coordinator and Broadcaster. Throughout his career has written many articles on China’s human rights violations of the Uyghur people. Seytoff has been frequently interviewed/quoted by CNN, Al Jazeera, BBC, Fox News, PBS, Voice of America, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Foreign Policy, Christian Science Monitor, and the newswires.

Promotional Materials:

Xinjiang Repression Program 2 (jpg)

Speaker Bios Responding to Chinese Repression in Xinjiang interactive webchat 1 (pdf)

SocialMedia Responding to Chinese Repression in Xinjiang webchat Aug7 Part2 (pdf)

Questions about this event? Reach out to Simon van Steyn at [email protected]