Abduweli Ayup (b 1973, China) is a poet and linguist, and a tireless fighter for the protection of Uyghur language and culture. He has published several academic articles on the Turkic language, and taught linguistics, literature and culture at different universities in China as well as in Ankara, Turkey, and Kansas, USA.
To allow Uyghur children in China to learn their mother tongue, Ayup founded several Uyghur schools and kindergartens. This led to an arrest by Chinese police in 2013, followed by a year and a half of custody under very poor conditions. He has been living in Bergen as an ICORN resident since 2019, where he has worked on unveiling human rights violations and abuse on the Uyghur population in China, and been able to continue protecting and promoting their language and culture.