Stop Uyghur Genocide (SUG) are collecting the stories of Uyghurs based in the UK. Through this project, we aim to demonstrate the diverse and varied experiences of Uyghurs and other Turkic people living in the UK. Every testimony is a crucial piece of evidence of the Chinese government’s crimes, but also forms part of the patchwork of the British Uyghur experience.
Otkur left the Uyghur region in the early 2000s for work in Europe, but he always expected he would return home to build his life. His story recounts the homesickness that comes with being forced to live in exile, and exposes the intimidation the Uyghur diaspora continue to face at the hands of Chinese authorities.
You can read about Otkur’s full story here.
Abide’s life in exile has taken her across the globe from Urumqi to Cambridge, where she now lives with her husband and children. Her story provides an insight into the complex experiences of Uyghur people grappling with their religious and cultural identity within an environment of repression and erasure. Abide was living in Urumqi just a few months before the July 5th Massacre, and her account reveals the drastic escalation in surveillance and repression that took place in just matter of weeks.
You can read Abide’s full story here.
Hemragul is an Uyghur woman living in London with her family. She left her homeland in 2006, and faced a difficult and complex journey out of China when she was only 19. Now Hemragul is an active member of the Uyghur community, regularly joining protests and teaching at the Uyghur school in London. Her story speaks to the collective loss the Uyghur community have experienced, as well as the strength and resilience they continue to exhibit.
You can read about her upbringing in the Uyghur region, her experience of fleeing the Chinese government’s persecution, and her life in the UK here.