Prominent Uyghur advocate honored with first Notre Dame Prize for Religious Liberty




The Notre Dame Law School Religious Liberty Initiative honored a prominent Uyghur-American attorney and human rights advocate Nury Turkel with the first Notre Dame Prize for Religious Liberty in 2021.


Turkel is a U.S.-educated attorney and leading human rights advocate whom House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appointed to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. His inspiring personal story and skilled advocacy have drawn global attention to the ongoing abuses against the Uyghur people.


Millions of Uyghurs continue to work under slavery conditions and face torture, rape, forced sterilization and abortion, constant political indoctrination, and even execution.


Turkel said he is humbled to be recognized by the Religious Liberty Initiative. “This honor reflects the heavy responsibility I feel personally and morally to stand for the principles reflected in the idea of religious freedom, particularly what comes to the genocide of the Uyghur people,” he said.


‘I cannot fully rejoice in recognition while such brutal violations of religious freedom and human dignity persist. The genocide and its implications loom dark and threatening in our world’, Turkel said. This summit brings a glimpse of hope, as it magnifies the importance of freedom of religion.


Religion itself is an enormous threat to the Chinese Communist Party because it threatens its very existence. The CCP strives to establish itself as the only authority over the people. 


Source: University of Notre Dame Las School Website