2019 Democracy Award Recipient: World Uyghur Congress
Founded in April 2004 in Munich, Germany, after the East Turkistan National Congress and the World Uyghur Youth Congress merged into one united organization, the World Uyghur Congress promotes democracy, human rights, and freedom for the Uyghur people and supports the use of peaceful, nonviolent, and democratic means to help Uyghurs achieve self-determination. World Uyghur Congress is the sole representative organization of the Uyghur people globally and has made crucial contributions in bringing attention to the CCP’s crushing campaign of physical, religious, linguistic, and cultural repression against the Uyghur people.
Dolkun Isa began his work as an activist as a student-leader at Xinjiang University. After leading pro-democracy student demonstrations in 1988, he was dismissed from university and endured years of persecution by the Chinese government, finally fleeing China in 1994 and seeking asylum in Europe. He became a German citizen in 2006. In 1996, Isa helped establish the World Uyghur Youth Congress and and in 2004, he helped found the World Uyghur Congress (WUC). Isa was elected WUC president in 2017 and has advocated on Uyghur human rights issues before the UN Human Rights Council, European Parliament, European governments, and international human rights organizations. He has mobilized the Uyghur diaspora community to advocate collectively for their own rights and for the rights of Uyghurs in East Turkistan. In 2017, Isa was elected Vice-President of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) and in this capacity, he works with other marginalized or unrepresented peoples to collectively strive for democracy, freedom and respect for basic human rights. Isa’s family that remains in East Turkistan continues to suffer greatly from Chinese repression; he has confirmed that his 78 year-old mother died in a Chinese internment camp last year. He has been unable to locate or contact his 90 year-old father.
2019 Democracy Award Recipients
ChinaAid is an international non-profit Christian human rights organization committed to promoting religious freedom and the rule of law in China.
Tibet Action Institute
The Tibet Action Institute brings together digital communication tools with strategic nonviolent action to strengthen the capacity and effectiveness of the Tibet movement in a digital era.
World Uyghur Congress
The World Uyghur Congress promotes democracy, human rights, and freedom for the Uyghur people and supports the use of peaceful, nonviolent, and democratic means to help Uyghurs achieve self-determination.