Rushan Abbas, a Uyghur American activist, has dedicated her life to championing the rights of the Uyghur people. During her time at Xinjiang University, she led pro-democracy protests in 1985 and 1988. After moving to the United States in 1989, her commitment to the cause only grew stronger. She founded the Uyghur Overseas
Student and Scholars Association in 1993 and played a central role in the founding of the Uyghur American Association in 1998 and was elected vice president for two terms. In response to Beijing’s escalating genocidal action against Uyghurs in 2017, Abbas co-founded the Campaign for Uyghurs (CFU). This organization advocates for Uyghur human rights and democratic freedoms, rallying the international community against the atrocities in East Turkistan. She pioneered the “One Voice One Step” movement, orchestrating a global protest on March 15th, 2018, across 14 countries and 18 cities against China’s mass Uyghur detentions. Her sister’s abduction followed her first public speech in September 2018 as retaliation for Rushan’s activism. In 2020, CFU released the report “Genocide in East Turkistan,” meticulously detailing how China’s actions align with the Genocide Convention. Notably, CFU received a Nobel Peace Prize nomination in February 2022 for its relentless advocacy. Rushan Abbas engages with global lawmakers, briefing them on East Turkistan’s human rights crisis. Testifying before the US Senate and Congress multiple times, she sheds light on the Chinese regime’s genocide and crimes against humanity. Rushan currently serves as a lived experienced expert on the Inter-Parliamentary Taskforce on Human Trafficking and as the Advisory Board Chair of the Axel Springer Freedom Foundation.