Rushan Abbas was born, raised, and attended university in Urumchi, the capital city in East Turkistan (Xinjiang). She has been an activist since her days at university in East Turkistan, where she co-organized pro-democracy protests in the mid and late 1980s in Urumchi. Since coming to the United States in 1989, she has been a tireless advocate for Uyghur rights. Recently, after Beijing accelerated the genocidal policies in East Turkistan, in 2017, she established the Campaign for Uyghurs to advocate for her people among the government officials and lawmakers, interfaith organizations, universities and think tanks and as well as the grassroots movements, globally. In September 2018, her own sister, Dr. Gulshan Abbas was abducted by the Chinese regime and illegally sentenced to prison in retaliation for Ms. Abbas’s activism. Today, Ms. Abbas continues to advocate for the freedom of millions of Uyghurs by delivering remarks at national and international forums as keynote speaker. She frequently testifies before Congress, and advises on policy and legislative response. Her writings have been featured in various media outlets, including The Washington Post, USA Today, The Hill Magazine, The Haaretz, etc. Ms. Abbas received a Freedom Fighter 2019 Award for her work raising awareness on the current Uyghur Genocide. She resides in Herndon, Virginia.
Recently, two U.S. lawmakers nominated Ms. Abbas’s organization, Campaign For Uyghurs, for the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize for its prominent and significant contributions to building fraternity between nations and promoting peace by defending the human rights of the Uyghur, Kazakh and other predominately Muslim ethnicities that the Chinese Communist Party has targeted with genocide and other crimes against humanity.