Send Us A Message
(202) 629-9500
Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation
300 New Jersey Avenue NW, Suite 900
Washington, D.C. 20001

VICTIMS OF COMMUNISM HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD LAUREATE

Dolkun Isa

Dolkun Isa was a student-leader of the pro-democracy demonstrations at Xinjiang University in 1988. He founded the Students’ Science and Culture Union at the university in 1987 and worked on programs to eliminate illiteracy and to promote science and to lead other students in East Turkestan. He was expelled from the university in September 1988, after four months of house arrest and a six hour-long dialogue with government officials about the students’ demands. He completed his physics degree via independent study and went on to receive an M.A. in politics and sociology from Gazi University in Turkey and a degree in computer science in Germany. After enduring persecution from the Chinese government, Isa fled China in 1994, and sought asylum in Europe and became a citizen of Germany in 2006. In November 1996, he played an important role in establishing the World Uyghur Youth Congress in Germany and served as Executive Chairman and President. In April 2004, he also played an important role in the establishment of the World Uyghur Congress through the merger of the East Turkestan National Congress and the World Uyghur Youth Congress and was elected General Secretary. He has since been presenting Uyghur human rights issues to the UN Human Rights Council, European Parliament, European governments, and international human rights organizations. Isa is the current President of the World Uyghur Congress. Isa has consistently advocated for the rights of the Uyghur people and has raised the issue in the UN, the institutions of the European Union and in individual states. He has worked to mobilize the Uyghur diaspora community to collectively advocate for their rights and the rights of the Uyghur population in the Uyghur Autonomous Region in China. He was recognized for his efforts in raising awareness of the human rights situation facing the Uyghur people and for calling for greater democracy and freedom in China by receiving the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation’s Human Rights Award in 2016. In 2017, he was elected as the Vice-President of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), of which the World Uyghur Congress is a member. In this capacity, he works with other marginalized or unrepresented peoples to collectively strive for democracy, freedom, and respect for basic human rights.