Episode 5 : Rebiya Kadeer


What does it mean to be a mother? The word brings to mind ideas of love, sacrifice, devotion, and a determination never to give up on one’s children. It is both an immense responsibility and a privilege to be a mother. So, what does it mean to be a mother of a whole people? Our guest, Mrs. Rebiya Kadeer, is known as the “mother of the Uyghur nation”. She is the acknowledged global leader of the Uyghur people - a community of over 15 million living primarily in the East Turkestan region of China where this largely Muslim community has been subjected to discrimination, persecution, mass incarceration and cultural and religious oppression at the hands of the Chinese government. 

One woman has stood in defiance of the Communist party’s attempt to undermine the Uyghur nation. Rebiya Kadeer, a self-made woman who through her own ingenuity and drive became one of the wealthiest women in China, put her life, her fortune, and her sacred honor on the line when she chose to defy the Chinese authorities and challenge their treatment of the Uyghurs in East Turkestan. She was imprisoned for many years and since her release, she has led her people from exile as she fights to bring the world’s attention to the grave injustices being perpetrated in her home.

With the help of an interpreter, Mrs. Kadeer spoke about the increase in persecution being experienced in East Turkestan, the Government’s efforts to intimidate her into silence by targeting her family members who are still in China, and why the US government should apply the Global Magnitsky Act to the Chinese official responsible for the outrages taking place in East Turkestan.