I am Rushan Abbas - Uyghur Activist and survivor of Chinese oppression. My sister and my friends are currently trapped in western China's concentration camps. Ask me anything!
Hi, I'm Rushan Abbas. I'm one of the Uyghur People of central Asia, and the Chinese Government has locked up many of my friends and relatives in concentration camps. I'm trying to help bring the worlds attention to this issue, and to shine light on the horrific human rights abuses happening in Xinjiang. I'm the founder of the Campaign for Uyghurs, and I'm a full time activist who travels the world giving talks and connecting with other groups that have suffered from Chinese repression. I've worked with Uyghur detainees in Guantanamo bay and I've raised a family. I'm currently banned from China because of my political work. Today I'm being helped out by Uyghur Rally, a group of activists focused on demonstrations and campaigns around these issues in the United States. Ask Me Anything!
Since 2015, the Chinese Government has locked up millions of ethnic Uyghurs (and other Muslim minorities) in concentration camps, solely for their ethnic and religious identity. The ethnic homeland of the Uyghurs has become a hyper-militarized police state, with police stations on every block and millions of cameras. Cutting-edge technology is used to maximize the efficiency of this system, with facial recognition and biometric monitoring systems permeating every aspect of life in Xinjiang. This project is being orchestrated by the most senior officials in the Chinese government, and is nothing less than a full blown attempt to effectively eliminate the Uyghur people and culture from the face of the earth. This nightmare represents a profound violation of human rights on an industrial scale not seen since the second world war. They have gone to enormous lengths to hide the extent of this, but recent attention from investigative journalists and activists the eyes of the world have been turned on this atrocity.
Ask me anything! I'll be answering questions all afternoon.
EDIT: 5pm ET; Wow! What a response. Thank you all for all the support. We're going to take a break for a bit, but I'll try to respond to a few more comments at a later time. Follow me, CFU, and Uyghur Rally on twitter to stay updated on our activities and on the cause! @uyghurn @rushan614 . . . . . .
UPDATE: 12/12: WOW! Front page. Thanks so much Reddit! Well, from Uyghur Rally’s end, we’d like to say a few things:
First of all, we are DEFINITELY not the CIA… we are just a group of activists that care a lot about something. Neither is Rushan. Working for the US government in the past doesn’t make you a spy, and neither does working to end human rights abuses. Fighting big wrongs requires allegiances between activists, nonprofits, and governments… that’s how change happens! So, for those of you who say we are the US government, you can believe that… but it’s not true.
What is true is that something horrific is happening. There’s multiple ways of understanding it, and some details are hard to confirm, but there is overwhelming evidence of atrocities happening in XinJiang. This nightmare is real, no matter what the CCP says, and we feel that everyone in the world has a moral responsibility to do something about it.
A lot of people have spoken about feeling helpless – so what can you do? Here’s a few things:
1) Donate to Uyghur activist organizations – Campaign For Uyghurs and others (https://campaignforuyghurs.org/). Support other organizations representing oppressed religious and ethnic minority groups, such as the Rohingya in Bangladesh. Support Free Hong Kong.
2) Follow us on social media - @UyghurRally, @Rushan614. Read and share media articles highlighting what’s going on in XinJiang. Western media has done a good job of covering this, but all over the world it is being highlighted.
3) Join our stickering campaign! “Google Uyghur”. You can print out stickers on our website (https://uyghurrally.org/) and distribute them!
4) Boycott Chinese goods manufactured in XinJiang, and avoid companies that do business there or support the technology of repression. Cotton from Xinjiang is a big one, as are Chinese facial recognition/AI companies.
5) Contact your government and ask them to do something about it! In the US, this is your senators and your congressmen. There are bills passed and being drafted can do something about this. Other countries around the world are also considering doing something about this, so look into local activist groups and movements within your government to stand up to Chinese oppression.
6) Stay active and watch out for propaganda – question everything! It’s nice to see such a robust discussion occur in the comments section here on Reddit. That couldn’t happen in China.
Also, a last note. The Chinese government is not the Chinese people – sinophobia is a real problem in the world. This is one nightmare, and shouldn’t encourage further global divisions. The only way forward to find a way to be on the same page, and to support people everywhere all over the world. Freedom is a fundamental human right.
"Respect and honour all human beings irrespective of their religion, colour, race, sex, language, status, property, birth, profession/job and so on" - Quran 17/70