Human Rights Crisis in Xinjiang

Lecture Series

Thursday, April 11, 2019


Assembly Hall

The status of Western China's Muslim minorities has long been a sensitive point in Chinese domestic policy. But in the past two years, state pressure on these communities has drastically increased. Most notoriously, large numbers of Uyghurs and Kazakhs have been forcibly taken to interntment camps that the Chinese government terms "re-education" camps, and that activists describe as concentration camps. The arrests have had a profoundly chilling effect on traditionally Muslim communities in the region. Major cultural figures and ordinary citizens have vanished with no trace, while those who remain have been cowed into silence. The government frames this detention as a necessary measure for combating dangerous extremism, while activists say detainees have been targeted for activities as innocuous as travel abroad or religious observance. This panel brings together activists, policy experts, and leading scholars on the human rights crisis in Xinjiang. 

Moderator: Kenneth Pomeranz (University Professor of Modern Chinese History and in the College, University of Chicago).

Panelists: Rushan Abbas (Director, Campaign for Uyghurs), Allison Quatrini (Assistant Professor of Political Science and International and Global Affairs, Behavioral Sciences Collegium, Eckerd College), Sean R. Roberts (Associated Professor of the Practice of International Affairs; Director, International Development Studies Program, Elliot School of International Affairs, George Washington University), Rian Thum (Nottingham Senior Research Fellow, University of Nottingham).


The program is free and open to the public.

This event is co-sponsored by International House Global Voices Program, the Center for East Asian Studies, Center for East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Committee on Central Eurasian Studies, Franke Institute for the Humanities, and Pozen Family Center for Human Rights at the University of Chicago with support from Title VI National Resource Center Grants from the United States Department of Education.