Skip to main content

What Uyghurs want you to know about China

How do you challenge the might of the Chinese state?

For decades, the Uyghur Muslims have fought to preserve their culture, their language and their religion, in the face of China’s rising power and control.

Since 2013, sweeping crackdowns have turned the once-autonomous region which calls itself East Turkestan into a heavily militarised zone, where high-tech surveillance systems were installed and thousands of ordinary people disappeared.

What China calls ‘anti-terrorism’ measures have been revealed as something much more sinister - concentration camps where more than a million Uyghurs are ‘re-educated’ into giving up their beliefs and adopting nationalist ideals, or face severe consequences.

Those who managed to escape Xinjiang are now trying to warn the world about what’s happening to their families, who they can no longer reach.

This week on The Big Picture podcast, we sit down with Rahima Mahmut, a Uyghur folk singer in exile and the UK director of the World Uyghur Congress. She says China has fooled the world into looking the other way, but she and others will not give up.

Subscribe and listen on all podcast platforms:
Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.