Tursunay Ziyawudun

Voice for the Uyghur People   

Ms. Tursunay Ziyawudun is a survivor of the Chinese government’s detention camps in the Uyghur Region, and an outspoken advocate for Uyghur human rights. She and her husband, who is of Kazakh ethnicity, moved to Kazakhstan in 2010. Ms. Tursunay returned to her hometown in November 2016 to renew her passport and was detained by the Chinese government.  She survived more than a year in two different concentration camps, suffering food deprivation; forcible injections of unknown medicines; harsh interrogation and beatings; forced political indoctrination, forced loyalty oaths, and renunciation of faith; and rape.   She was released from the camps in December 2018, several months later she was able to return to Kazakhstan. In August 2020, fearing for her safety and facing the risk of refoulement to China, she fled to a third country and was granted special parole to enter the United States in September 2020. She is receiving assistance for her resettlement in the U.S. from the Uyghur Human Rights Project, the Uyghur American Association. She has provided testimony to human rights groups, researchers, and journalists investigating the Chinese government’s atrocity crimes against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim peoples. On May 6, 2021, she testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
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