The Failed Case Against Rebiya Kadeer (December 2010)


While Rebiya Kadeer, China’s most well known Uighur activist, claims to advocate the peaceful struggle of her people for greater autonomy in Xinjiang, like the Dalai Lama, she is hailed an enemy of the state. In this paper, I explore how China’s efforts to label Kadeer as a terrorist have failed to convince the international community. I argue that evidence proving her affiliation to violent separatist activities in Xinjiang is tenuous at best. In fact, by drawing attention to a charismatic activist like Kadeer, Beijing’s efforts to garner political backing for its crackdown on separatist activities in Xinjiang have mainly backfired. Rather, they have drawn greater attention to the Communist Party of China’s human rights abuses and gained the Uighurs more sympathy and support for their struggle worldwide.

Paper available upon request.