By Tursunjan Uyghur
In a distressing continuation of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) genocidal policy against the Uyghur population, Abduheber Memet, a prominent Uyghur educator and entrepreneur, has received a severe 15-year prison sentence.
Abduheber Memet, 37, was born in Kelpin County Aksu Prefecture. His journey is one marked by academic success and entrepreneurial achievement. After obtaining both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the prestigious New York State University, he returned to China with aspirations to contribute to education and business in his homeland. He established a thriving education service enterprise in Urumchi and Beijing, becoming quickly known for his dedication and accomplishments.
Abdulheber, formerly a model Chinese citizen and one of the Uyghur youths widely admired among the broader Chinese community and university students, gained attention in the national media for his interactions and discussions with his Chinese supporters.
In one of his speeches, Abdulheber said, “I strongly believe in the role of education to help our youth be better off. Our future lies in equipping ourselves with technology and working hard to compete with others.”
Abdudlheber’s education service helped hundreds of Uyghur youth go abroad for studies. The Uyghur Times could not verify why the Chinese government sentenced him so severely.
“The crime of Abdulheber is helping Uyghur students study abroad and setting a successful example of learning a foreign language and going abroad, demonstrating to the disheartened Uyghurs that a possible reality exists beyond high political pressure,” said Norway-based Uyghur linguist and activist Abduweli Ayup.
Abdulheber was arrested in September 2022, according to Abduweli Ayup.
Dr. Memet Imin, a New York-based Uyghur scholar who met Abdulheber when he was studying in New York, told Uyghur Times, “Abdulheber was not involved in any human rights or political activities against the Chinese government. He believed that there was an opportunity for Uyghurs to prosper, and he made efforts to stay close to the government. Now he is suffering in a Chinese prison. This must be a lesson for all pro-Chinese government Uyghurs who still believe that the Chinese government does good things for Uyghur people.”
His biography and profile still remain on the Sohu website as that of a “Study in the United States” expert, with “Abdu” being his nickname in Chinese.
The case highlights the challenges faced by Uyghurs who pursued education outside of China and succeeded in entrepreneurial endeavors, only to be ensnared in a harsh judicial system upon their return.