Salih Hudayar
سالىھ خۇدايار
4th Prime Minister of the East Turkistan Government-in-Exile
Assumed office
11 November 2019
Preceded byAbdulehed Nur
Founder and President of the East Turkistan National Awakening Movement[1][2]
Personal details
Born (1993-05-21) 21 May 1993 (age 28)
Atush, Xinjiang, China
NationalityChinese (1993–2000)
American (2000–present)
Amannnissa Mukhlis
(m. 2019)
ResidenceVirginia, United States[3]
Alma materThe University of Oklahoma (BS in International Studies and Political Science)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/serviceOklahoma Army National Guard
Years of service2011-2013
RankPrivate First Class
Unit179th Infantry Regiment (United States)

Salih Hudayar (Uighur: سالىھ خۇدايار; born 21 May 1993)[4] is a Uyghur American politician known for advocating for East Turkistan independence. He founded the East Turkistan National Awakening Movement and has since been leading the movement calling for the "restoration of East Turkistan's independence."

On November 11, 2019, Hudayar was elected as the Prime Minister of the self-proclaimed East Turkistan Government-in-Exile.[5][6] Hudayar was born in Atush, Xinjiang and studied International Studies and Political Science at the University of Oklahoma[7] and holds American citizenship.

Early life and education

Hudayar was born to an Uyghur business family in Atush in 1993. At the age of 7, Hudayar came to the United States with his family as political refugees. He grew up in Oklahoma and joined the Oklahoma Army National Guard while enrolled in the ROTC program in hopes of becoming a military officer, he was later given a medical discharge due to a kidney condition.[8] Hudayar studied International Studies & Political Science at the University of Oklahoma, graduating in January 2017.[9]

East Turkistan National Awakening Movement

In the summer of 2017, Hudayar founded the East Turkistan National Awakening Movement and moved from Oklahoma to Washington, DC to engage in human rights and political advocacy.[10] He is widely known as the Founder and President of the East Turkistan National Awakening Movement. In early 2018, Hudayar began to meet with members of Congress and advocate for the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act and since June 4, 2018, he has led weekly demonstrations in front of the US Capitol building and the White House to protest China's policy in Xinjiang.[11]

Calling for East Turkistan's Independence

With the official public launching of the East Turkistan National Awakening Movement on June 4, 2018, Hudayar has been leading a global movement openly advocating for the "restoration of East Turkistan's independence." In September 2019, launched a petition to the White House which got over 108,000 signatures, calling on the US Government to "prevent a 21st century Holocaust in East Turkistan" and "recognize East Turkistan as an Occupied country."[12] On November 13, 2018, Salih Hudayar led hundreds of Uyghurs from the White House to the US Capitol in commemoration of the 85th Anniversary of the First East Turkistan Republic and the 74th Anniversary of the Second East Turkistan Republic's declaration of independence.[13] The demonstrators called on the US Congress to pass a Uyghur Act and called for "freedom and independence for East Turkistan."[14] Despite calls for independence being viewed as "controversial" by other Uyghur groups like the Uyghur American Association, Uyghur Human Rights Project, and the World Uyghur Congress, Hudayar has repeatedly stated that, "the only way we [Uyghurs] can ensure our freedoms and human rights is by restoring our independence [independence of East Turkistan] and that’s the only way we can ensure our overall survival as a whole."[15] In an interview with the Middle East Eye, Hudayar stated that Uyghurs want the United States to understand that the Uyghurs are an occupied people and that the majority of them believe that restoring East Turkistan's independence is the only way forward.[16]

On April 9, 2019, Salih Hudayar delivered a speech calling on the "free world" to support the separatist movement at the newly launched Committee on the Present Danger China Roundtable.[17][18] A month later, in May 2019, Hudayar was invited by Frank Gaffney to speak about China's persecution of Uyghur and other Turkic peoples at an event hosted by Save the Persecuted Christians.[19]

In July 2019, the East Turkistan National Awakening Movement published 124 coordinates of "suspected concentration camps" in East Turkistan, Hudayar told the Washington Free Beacon that ETNAM wanted the world to know about these locations as they feared "China might be preparing for a 21st Century Holocaust."[20] In October 2019, the Agence France-Presse (AFP) interviewed Salih Hudayar regarding China's destruction of Uyghur graves and cultural sites. Hudayar told the AFP that China was destroying historical sites and cemeteries to disconnect Uyghurs from their history and their ancestors and "eradicate any evidence" of who the Uyghurs are.[21] In November 2019, Hudayar attended a pro-Hong Kong rally in Washington, DC where he told Voice of America that "Uyghurs stand with the people of Hong Kong, and if Hong Kong falls then Hong Kong face the same situation we are going through."[22]

East Turkistan Government-in-Exile

Following Hudayar's speech at the Committee on the Present Danger, the self-proclaimed East Turkistan Government-in-Exile appointed Salih Hudayar as their Ambassador to the United States. As Ambassador, Hudayar continued to advocate for Uyghurs' human rights and East Turkistan independence.[23][24] In an interview, Hudayar claimed to Fox News that China was harvesting the organs of Uyghurs.[25] On November 11, 2019, Hudayar was elected as Prime Minister of the East Turkistan Government-in-Exile at the 8th General Assembly of the East Turkistan Government-in-Exile.[26] The next day, the East Turkistan National Awakening Movement held a press conference where they released nearly 500 coordinates of alleged concentration camps, prisons, and labor camps.[27][28] Later that afternoon, Hudayar led a demonstration to commemorate the independence of the former East Turkistan Republics and to bring attention to what he described as a genocide of Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples.[29] In an interview with NPR, Hudayar stated that that Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples in East Turkistan want independence, he also stated that East Turkistan Government in Exile doesn't consider themselves as "separatists" because they believe that, "you can't separate from something you don't belong to."[30]

In March 2020, Salih Hudayar led an East Turkistan delegation and held meetings with numerous Senators and Representatives. During his meeting with Representative Ted Yoho,[31] Hudayar asked him to deliver a speech on East Turkistan at the US House of Representatives. Congressman Ted Yoho described East Turkistan as an "occupied country" and condemned China for its alleged genocide of Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and other Turkic peoples.[32][33] Hudayar condemned the "slave labor" of Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples and accused China of colonizing East Turkistan and enslaving the Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples.[34][35][36] In April 2020, Hudayar appeared as a special guest on Steve Bannon's War Room Pandemic and criticized Muslim countries and leaders for remaining silent on China's alleged atrocities against Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang.[37]

ICC Case

On July 6, 2020, the East Turkistan Government in Exile (ETGE) and the East Turkistan National Awakening Movement filed a complaint urging the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate and prosecute Chinese officials for genocide and crimes against humanity.[38][39] Salih Hudayar told Radio Free Asia's Chinese service that "for too long we have been oppressed by China and its Communist Party and we have suffered so much that the genocide of our people can be no longer ignored."[40] On July 9, 2020, the US Government sanctioned 3 senior Chinese officials including Xinjiang Party Secretary Chen Quanguo and Zhu Hailun who were among the 30 officials mentioned in the complaint to the ICC.[41] Hudayar told Radio Free Asia that the East Turkistan Government in Exile welcomed the sanctions and that Uyghurs wanted real justice. He stated that the Chinese officials should be put on trial like the Nazis during the Nuremberg Trials.[42]

Personal life

Salih Hudayar is fluent in English, Uyghur and Turkish. He is married and currently resides with his wife and son in Northern Virginia.[43]

See also


  1. ^ Ma, Alexandra (25 November 2019). "Maps show 500 suspected 're-education' camps and prisons where China is locking up and torturing its Muslim minority". Business Insider. Retrieved 16 June 2020.
  2. ^ "Salih Hudayar". Forum Network. Forum Network. Retrieved 16 June 2020.
  3. ^ "Prime Minister". East Turkistan Government in Exile. Retrieved 16 June 2020.
  4. ^ @SalihHudayar (21 May 2019). "A great birthday present from my..." (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  5. ^ Shukla, Manish (16 August 2020). "East Turkistan Government in Exile Prime Minister Salih Hudayar wishes India on Independence Day". Zee News. Retrieved 1 January 2021.
  6. ^ Burnett, Rebecca. "Protestors gather outside U.S. Capitol on East Turkistan's independence day" (12 November 2020). WDVM. Retrieved 1 January 2021.
  7. ^ Marsh, Dave (15 April 2019). "Salih Hudayar, East Turkestan National Awakening Movement China's Xinjiang Crackdown on Uighurs and Kazaks". Here & There with Dave Marsh. Retrieved 16 June 2020.
  8. ^ "Salih Hudayar Speaks at 'Committee on the Present Danger: China' Event". You Tube. Center for Security and Policy. Retrieved 16 June 2020.
  9. ^ Marsh, Dave (15 April 2019). "Salih Hudayar, East Turkestan National Awakening Movement China's Xinjiang Crackdown on Uighurs and Kazaks". Here & There with Dave Marsh. Retrieved 16 June 2020.
  10. ^ Luxner, Larry (20 May 2018). "Muslim Uyghurs, urging freedom for 'East Turkestan,' picket Chinese Embassy in Washington". Times of Israel. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  11. ^ Corr, Anders (8 December 2019). "US Senate Must Act Now: 1-3 Million Turkic Muslims Detained By China Can't Wait – OpEd". Eurasia Review. Retrieved 16 June 2020.
  12. ^ Nelson, Steven (3 February 2019). "White House petition site relaunches — and then goes dormant". Washington Examiner. Retrieved 16 June 2020.
  13. ^ Mandhai, Shafik (13 November 2018). "Uighurs marking 'independence day' call for international help". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  14. ^ Farooq, Umar (14 November 2018). "US: Hundreds march in solidarity for Uyghurs". Anadolu Agency. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  15. ^ Shenoy, Rupa (19 December 2018). "As families are lost to China's 're-education camps,' US Uighurs are split". Public Radio International. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  16. ^ Essa, Azad (16 November 2018). "'If we remain silent, it might get worse': Uighurs fear for loved ones in China". Middle East Eye. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  17. ^ "'Committee on the Present Danger: China' Hosted Capitol Hill Roundtable Discussion of Threat Posed by Communist China". Committee on the Present Danger China. Retrieved 16 June 2020.
  18. ^ Spinelli, Dan (22 April 2019). "These Trump Allies Are Preparing for a New Cold War With China". Mother Jones. Retrieved 16 June 2020.
  19. ^ "VIDEOS: Squire Patton Boggs Letter - Remarks by Frank Gaffney, Hon. Frank Wolf, Bob Fu, Salih Hudayar, Faith McDonnell and Fr. Andre Mahanna". Save the Persecuted Christians. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  20. ^ Gertz, Bill (15 July 2019). "Network of Chinese Concentration Camps for Uighurs Uncovered". The Washington Free Beacon. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  21. ^ Lee, Zinnia (17 October 2019). "Satellite images show China has bulldozed Uygur burial sites in Xinjiang". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  22. ^ 宁路 (3 November 2019). "华盛顿香港人响应全球撑香港集会". Voice of America - Chinese. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  23. ^ "Salih Hudayar". You Tube. The Eric Metaxas Radio Show. 21 June 2019. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  25. ^ McKay, Hollie (26 October 2019). "Survivors and victims on shocking state-sanctioned organ harvesting in China". Fox News. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  26. ^ "Summary of the ETGE's 8th General Assembly (November 10–12)". East Turkistan Government in Exile. 18 November 2019. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  27. ^ Jardin, Xeni (12 November 2019). "China has 500+ Uighur camps and prisons and is holding far more than one million, activists say". Boing Boing. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  28. ^ Tandon, Sahun (12 November 2019). "Uighur researchers say China running more camps than known". AFP. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  29. ^ Molli, Emily (13 November 2019). "New Chinese Labor Camp Coordinates Released by Uyghur Activists | Subverse News". Subverse News. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  30. ^ Fink, Kathryn (23 December 2019). "'For Their Own Good': The Detention Of Muslim Ethnic Groups In China". National Public Radio. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  31. ^ Ted, Yoho. "Congressman Yoho Tweet". Twitter. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  32. ^ "Congressman Ted Yoho's Speech on China's Oppression in East Turkistan". YouTube. CSPAN. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  33. ^ Congress, US (11 March 2020). "House of Representatives" (PDF). Congressional Record: Proceedings and Debates of the 116th Congress, Second Session. 166 (47): 1815. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  34. ^ "Persecution of Ehtnic Minorities in China - Salih Hudayar". Dove Tv. 24 March 2020. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  35. ^ Gruber, Steve (25 March 2020). "Salih Hudayar, Uyghurs for Sale". Steve Gruber Show. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  36. ^ Batchelor, John (25 March 2020). "The Uyghurs and the virus & What is to be done? @SalihHudayar East Turkistan National Awakening Movement (ETNAM)". John Batchelor Show. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  37. ^ "War Room: Pandemic EP 118". America's Voice. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  38. ^ Simons, Marlise (6 July 2020). "Uighur Exiles Push for Court Case Accusing China of Genocide". New York Times. Retrieved 24 July 2020.
  39. ^ Areddy, James T. (6 July 2020). "Representatives of China's Uighurs File Evidence to International Criminal Court". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 24 July 2020.
  40. ^ Tang, Jane (15 July 2020). "Uyghur Exile Groups Seek International Criminal Court Probe of Chinese Officials For 'Genocide'". Radio Free Asia. Retrieved 24 July 2020.
  41. ^ Riechmann, Deb (9 July 2020). "US sanctions Chinese officials over repression of minorities". AP. Retrieved 24 July 2020.
  42. ^ 唐家婕 (10 July 2020). "美制裁四新疆官员后 中国外交部要对等反击". Radio Free Asia - Chinese Service. Retrieved 24 July 2020.
  43. ^ "Prime Minister". East Turkistan Government in Exile. Retrieved 17 June 2020.