Jewher Ilham is an author, rights activist, and the daughter of Uyghur scholar, Ilham Tohti. The last time Ilham saw her father was in 2013 at the Beijing airport, where he was detained by Chinese authorities.
“The pandemic created a situation where people are physically isolated, Unfortunately, that’s not new for the Uyghurs,” she told CNN.
She continued: “Uyghurs have been separated from their families and loved ones for a long time because of the repression. It’s been especially devastating to hear accounts from Uyghur women that have been subjected to gender based violence and harassments. However the pandemic also created opportunities for digital campaigns to protect and keep people safe, including digital campaigns on Uyghur rights.”
Ilham said she’s been “very inspired” to hear the stories of Uyghur people “lifted up” on social media.
“It has been so important for Uyghurs including me to have solidarity from around the world, my message to you is please stand up for Uyghur women, for people all around the world regardless of your ethnic or religious identity.”