Rayhan Asat is a Uighur activist and attorney. Rayhan was driven to activism after her brother, Ekpar Asat, disappeared into the shadows of the concentration camps of Xinjiang, China in 2016. Ekpar, a prominent Uyghur entrepreneur, philanthropist and alumnus of the State Department’s prestigious International Visitor Leadership Program, was abducted by Chinese authorities upon returning from a trip to the U.S. Now, Rayhan devotes much of her time to fighting for his release.
Through sources in the U.S. government and elsewhere, Rayhan discovered that her disappeared brother had been taken to an internment camp. He was arbitrarily sentenced to 15 years in jail in a secret trial, and was transferred to a solitary confinement facility in 2019.
Rayhan has been featured in the New York Times, The Guardian, BBC, The Hill, CNN, and Deutsche Welle, among other media outlets. As a prominent human rights lawyer, she is a sought-after speaker at various conferences and international forums.
Rayhan Asat is a graduate of Harvard Law School, President of the American Turkic International Lawyers Association, and senior fellow at the Raoul Wallenberg Center for Human Rights. Rayhan’s work specializes in business, anti-corruption efforts, and human rights. Asat focuses particularly on democratic leadership, labor rights, human rights as core elements of foreign policy, and the relationship between emerging technologies and human freedom. She collaborates with civil society, governments, world leaders, businesses, and grassroots organizations to advise and address human rights concerns.
- ‘Nowhere to be found’: Harvard coalition says US must fight to free young Uighur, The Guardian, January 1, 2021.
- The World’s Most Technologically Sophisticated Genocide Is Happening in Xinjiang, Foreign Policy, July 15, 2020.
- Sister Fights to Free Uighur Businessman Held in China The New York Times, July 6, 2020