Uyghur people living in the global diaspora have important stories to tell about the ways the crisis in the Uyghur Homeland has impacted them. Yet Uyghurs who choose to speak out, even those that are citizens of other countries, often find themselves surveilled and harassed by Chinese security forces. Chinese authorities also often threaten any loved ones still living within Chinese borders. This makes public advocacy potentially dangerous for many Uyghurs in the diaspora. Still, many individuals choose to raise their voices, knowing that those still in the Uyghur Homeland often have no chance to do so for themselves. Here, Uyghurs talk about how the Chinese government’s policies around surveillance, language, cultural and religious practice, and even basic person-to-person communications have altered the course of their lives.
“I Thought I Was Still a Good Citizen of China”

Gul describes how she thought she would be able to live like others in Beijing.

“Nearly Every Single Person Knows Someone Who Has Disappeared”

A Uyghur researcher expresses the collective trauma experienced by Uyghurs in the diaspora.

“Exoticized Stereotypes of Uyghur Women Are Nothing New”

A Uyghur researcher details government policies aimed at Uyghur women.

“She Erased Me from WeChat after That”

Mukaddas explains how she has been cut off from everyone in the Uyghur Region.

“It Was My Father Who Paid the Price”

Gul talks about the pain of being separated from her family.

“I Was Scared All the Time”

Gul describes what it was like living as a Uyghur in Beijing.

“The Voices of All Are Silenced”

Merdan describes how poets, teachers, and family members were taken away.

“The School Gate Keepers Changed to Policemen”

A chronicles how political education slowly turned into internment

“The Whole Family Had to Attend, Even the Babies”

A recounts his experiences attending village meetings.

“Never Live a Life under Their Control, Live Free”

Erpan explains why he believes his father was detained.

“They Just Want the World to Forget about Uyghurs”

Mukaddas expresses her fear about returning to her homeland.

“Like Mowing the Grass”

Merdan describes how authorities have disappeared intellectual and cultural figures.

“A Really Stupid Lie in a Small Village”

Mukaddas talks about her last trip back to the Uyghur Region.