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Beijing authorities are waging a brutal campaign of repression against Uyghur Muslims and other religious minorities in China and abroad, including the mass imprisonment of civilians in concentration camps. Imports from Silicon Valley companies have allowed the Chinese government to establish an extensive surveillance network in the region that supports the state’s campaign of violence. In his publication, No Escape: The True Story of the Chinese Genocide Against the Uyghurs, Nury Turkel details his experience in a Chinese re-education camp in the 1970s, aiming to highlight the scale and urgency of the current human rights crisis in East Turkestan. Please join the International Forum for a one-on-one discussion with Nouri Turkel to discuss his book and the wider implications of China’s continued abuses of Uyghur Muslims.
Fed TurkelHudson Institute
Christopher WalkerNational Democracy Fund
Opening remarks by
Damon WilsonNational Democracy Fund
Nury A. Turkel is a lawyer, foreign policy expert and advocate. He is currently Chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom after being appointed commissioner by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in May 2020. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, speaking about Uyghur internment camps and advocating for a legislative response . to China’s atrocities. His policy recommendations have been incorporated into US laws and pending bills regarding Uyghurs and China. As a rights advocate, he led efforts to raise the profile of the Uyghur cause. He is president of the Uyghur Human Rights Project, which he co-founded in 2003 with the support of NED. He is a senior fellow at the Washington think tank, the Hudson Institute, where he works on US foreign policy and national security issues. He is also a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He has written essays for major publications such as Foreign Affairs, Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Foreign Policy. He has provided commentary on national and international programs including CNN, BBC, Fox News, Al Jazeera and NPR. In 2020, he was listed on TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World list and in 2021, he was named one of Fortune’s 50 Greatest Leaders.
Christopher Walker is Vice President for Studies and Analysis of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a private, nonprofit foundation dedicated to growing and strengthening democratic institutions around the world. In this capacity, he oversees the department responsible for NED’s multifaceted analytical work. He is an expert on authoritarian regimes and has been at the forefront of the discussion of authoritarian influence on open systems, particularly through what he calls “sharp power”. His articles have appeared in numerous publications, including the FinancialTimes, the wall street journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Foreign Affairsand the Democracy Journal. He is co-editor (with Larry Diamond and Marc Plattner) of the edited volume Authoritarianism goes global: the challenge of democracy (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016) and co-editor (with Jessica Ludwig) of the report Sharp Power: Growing authoritarian influence (NED International Forum for Democratic Studies, 2017).
Damon Wilson is President and CEO of the National Endowment for Democracy. Prior to joining the Endowment, he served as Executive Vice President of the Atlantic Council. Wilson’s public service includes serving as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for European Affairs at the National Security Council; as Executive Secretary and Chief of Staff at the United States Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq; as Director of Central, Eastern and Northern European Affairs at the National Security Council; and Deputy Chief of Staff to NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson. Wilson has also worked at the State Department’s Bureau of European Security and Political Affairs, the State Department’s China Desk, and the United States Embassy in Beijing. He received his master’s degree from the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs; was the first Hart Leadership Fellow, working in Rwanda for Save the Children; and graduated summa cum laude from Duke University as a Benjamin N. Duke Leadership Scholar.
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