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Omer Kanat presented on the Uyghur Human Rights Project

Omer Kanat presentation at EKU February 13, 2019_photo by C. Michael Rich

On Wednesday, February 13th, Omer Kanat, Director of the Uyghur Human Rights Project presented “Who are the Uyghur People?”

Roundtable Discussion 12:30pm - 1:30pm in Crabbe Library Room 201

Presentation 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm in the O’Donnell Auditorium, Whitlock Building

The Uyghurs, Uighurs, or Uygurs are a Turkic ethnicity who live in East and Central Asia. Today, Uyghurs live primarily in the People’s Republic of China, where they are one of fifty-five officially recognized ethnic minorities.  The fifth-most-populous ethnic group in China, they face governmental campaigns seeking to “re-educate” them in detention camps in an effort to gain tighter control of the resource-rich regions inhabited by the ethnic Uyghurs.  The authorities also enacted a sweeping anti-extremism law last year, with long beards, veils in public and home-schooling all on the ban list, prompting new denunciations from international human rights groups.  Amnesty International has said Uyghurs face widespread discrimination in housing, education and employment as well as curtailed religious freedom in their homeland. (CNN, 2018).

Omer Kanat is a Uyghur human rights activist and director of the Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP), a research-based Uyghur human rights advocacy organization.  Kanat was born in the city of Ghulja in East Turkestan; his family escaped from China to Afghanistan in 1971. He moved from Afghanistan to Turkey in 1979 and came to the US in 1999.  He helped found UHRP in 2003, as well as the World Uyghur Youth Congress, where he served for two terms as President from 1996 to 2000.

The event was free and open to the public.

Co-sponsored by EKU Department of Languages, Cultures, & Humanities; Department of History, EKU Asian Studies Program; and the Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center at Indiana University, Bloomington (IAUNRC).

Published on February 25, 2019

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