Countering the Chinese Communist Party’s Genocide on the Uyghurs

March 14, 2024
12:00 pm - 02:00 pm

Click the play button above or click this link to watch the recording of the event.

Interested in getting a copy of The China Freedom Trap? Click here to purchase from Optimum Publishing International.

About the Event

As a globally-recognized champion for Uyghur democracy and human rights, President of the World Uyghur Congress Dolkun Isa has faced intense persecution from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Forced to flee his homeland, Dolkun Isa’s siblings were sentenced to prison, his mother died inside an internment camp, and Dolkun Isa narrowly escaped extradition to China when the regime falsely issued an Interpol Red Notice on him. Despite this relentless persecution, Dolkun Isa has never ceased speaking out against the atrocities being committed against the Uyghurs.

In his new book, The China Freedom Trap, published by Optimum Publishing International, Dolkun chronicles his life story pursuing justice and freedom for the Uyghur people, from early days in the 1980s as a student leader of pro-democracy demonstrations in East Turkistan to winning prominent human rights awards (including the 2019 NED Democracy Award) for his tireless advocacy. Isa, acclaimed Washington Post journalist Josh Rogin, and former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Kelley Currie, discussed Dolkun’s harrowing life journey, the behind-the-scenes diplomatic battles that Ambassador Currie helped him navigate, and what the international community can do to bring an end to the CCP’s genocide against the Uyghur people.

About the Speakers

Damon Wilson (opening remarks)  is president and chief executive officer of the National Endowment for Democracy. Prior to joining NED, Mr. Wilson served as executive vice president at the Atlantic Council, as special assistant to the president and senior director for European affairs at the National Security Council (NSC), as executive secretary and chief of staff at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, and as deputy director in the private office of the NATO Secretary General. Mr. Wilson began his career with Save the Children in Rwanda. He is a graduate of Duke University and Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs.

Ambassador Kelley Currie served as U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues and the U.S. Representative at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.  Prior to her appointment, she led the Department of State’s Office of Global Criminal Justice (2019) and served under Ambassador Nikki Haley as the United States’ Representative to the UN Economic and Social Council and Alternative Representative to the UN General Assembly (2017-2018).  Throughout her career in foreign policy, Ambassador Currie has specialized in human rights, political reform, development and humanitarian issues, with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region. From 2009 until her appointment to the USUN leadership, she served as a Senior Fellow with the Project 2049 Institute. She has held senior policy positions with the Department of State, the U.S. Congress, and several international and non-governmental human rights and humanitarian organizations.  Ambassador Currie received a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center, and an undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs.

Dolkun Isa was born in Aksu City in 1967 and spent his childhood in Kalpin County, Aksu Province.  He attended primary and secondary schools in Aksu until 1984. In 1984, he was admitted to the Faculty of Physics of Xinjiang University.  Participated in the “December 12 Student Movement” in Urumqi in 1985.  On December 24, 1987, he founded and chaired the Science and Culture Association at the university. He took advantage vacations led educational initiatives to strengthen literacy in Uyghur community. Dolkun Isa organised the  Student Demonstration on June 15, 1988. During the “protest against ethnic discrimination “rally which thousands of university students took to the streets of Urumqi to protest the Chinese state’s oppression. As a result, he was follow by 3 months interrogations and 4 months under house arrest, expelled from university.   Mr. Dolkun Isa studied English and Turkish at the Beijing University of Foreign Languages ​​in the 1990- and 1992.  He was forced to emigrate to Turkey on May 22, 1994.  In the same year, he established the “Union of Students and Youth of East Turkestan” in Turkey and took over its presidency.  In October 1995, the World Uyghur Youth Culture Day was organized in Almaty with the participation of young people from all over the world.  He came to Germany in June 1996 to seek political asylum, and in November of the same year, he and his colleagues formed the World Uyghur Youth Congress.  Mr.Dolkun Isa, on April 16-19, 2004, merged with the East Turkestan (Uyghur) National Congress and the World Uyghur Youth Congress to form the “World Uyghur Congress” and the Play very important role.He served as Secretary-General of the Organization and Chairman of the Executive Committee till 2017.  He was elected President of the World Uyghur Congress at the 6th Extraordinary Congress in Munich on November 10-12, 2017.  He is also the Vice President of the Unrepresented Nations Organization.

Josh Rogin (moderator) is a columnist for the Global Opinions section of the Washington Post and a political analyst with CNN. He is also the author of Chaos Under Heaven: Trump, Xi, and the Battle for the 21st Century, released March, 2021 by Houghton Mifflin Harcout. Previously, Josh has covered foreign policy and national security for Bloomberg View, Newsweek, The Daily Beast, Foreign Policy magazine, Congressional Quarterly, Federal Computer Week magazine, and Japan’s Asahi Shimbun. His work has been featured on outlets including NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, MSNBC, NPR, and many more. Josh has been recognized with the Interaction Award for Excellence in International Reporting and as a Finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists. He has also received journalism fellowships from the Knight Foundation, the East-West Center, and the National Press Foundation.