Founder and Executive Director
Mr. Abdulhakim Idris was born in Hotan city in East Turkistan in 1968. He was educated in Islamic religious studies and Arabic language at the underground Islamic schools (Madrasa) in Hotan before leaving his hometown in 1986 to study Islam in Egypt at Al-Azhar University. After he studied in Cairo, he settled in Munich, Germany, in 1990 as one of the first Uyghurs to seek asylum in Europe. He studied Industrial Management at the Deutsche Angestellten-Akademie (DAA) in Munich.
Mr. Idris is one of the founding members of the East Turkistan Union in Europe established in 1991 in Germany, the first Uyghur organization in Europe. Mr. Idris also co-founded the World Uyghur Youth Congress (WUYC) in 1996 and the East Turkistan National Congress in 1999, and one of the founders of the World Uyghur Congress in 2004. He previously served as Treasury, Vice-Chairman of the Executive Committee, Director of the Refugee Center for the World Uyghur Congress. He was the Treasurer and Chairman of the Executive Committee for the World Uyghur Youth Congress. Additionally, he served as one of the Board of Directors for the Uyghur American Association in Washington DC. In 2017, Mr. Idris and his wife Rushan Abbas founded the non-profit organization Campaign for Uyghurs. He is also the former Inspector General of the World Uyghur Congress (WUC), and the founder and Executive Director of the Center for Uyghur Studies, a Washington D.C.-based think tank.
Mr. Idris has consistently advocated for the Uyghur people’s rights and has been a prominent human rights advocate in the Uyghur diaspora. He moved to the United States in 2009 and currently lives in Northern Virginia. He speaks English, German, Arabic, Uyghur, and Turkish.