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Jewher Ilham

Uyghur advocate and daughter of imprisoned scholar Ilham Tohti

Jewher Ilham is an author and an advocate for the Uyghur community and for her imprisoned father, Uyghur economist Ilham Tohti. She arrived in the US alone in 2013 after her father was arrested and separated from her at the Beijing airport en route to Indiana University to take up a fellowship. He has since been sentenced to life for separatism. Jewher has testified before the US Congressional Executive Committee on China, published op-eds in The New York Times and the Guardian, and received numerous international awards on behalf of her father, including the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize. In 2015, she recounted her experiences in her book “Jewher Ilham: A Uyghur’s Fight to Free Her Father.” Her second book, “Because I Have To: The Path to Survival, the Uyghur Struggle,” was released in 2022. Ilham works at the Worker Rights Consortium as a forced labor project coordinator and as a spokesperson for the Coalition to End Uyghur Forced Labor. She is also assisting with the production of a documentary film, “All Static and Noise,” that investigates the arbitrary mass detention of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China.

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