Kamile Wayit, an Uyghur student from China detained after posting a video

In November 2022, peaceful protests, referred to as “white paper protests”, sparked in multiple locations in China due to a fatal lockdown fire on 24 November 2022 and China’s zero-COVID policy in general. The fire had caused the death of at least ten people. In recent years, the Chinese authorities carried out widespread and systematic human rights violations and targeted Uyghur students, scholars, and other members of the Uyghur cultural elite in Artush.[1] Since 2017, 386 known cases of Uyghurs have been interned, disappeared, or imprisoned.

This Article goes into more depth about the case of Kamile Wayit and the urgent call for her release. 

The detention of Kamile Wayit

Kamile Wayit is a 19-year-old Uyghur Muslim and college student living in Henan, China. On 12 December 2022, Kamile was taken by the local Artush city police and detained after she had returned from Artush (Xinjiang), her hometown, for a winter break. According to Kamile’s brother, U.S.-based Kewser Wayit, she was targeted because of a video she posted online regarding the white paper protests. On 2 February 2023, Kewser Wayit called on and demanded that the Chinese authorities release his sister immediately and let her speak to him. He stated that his sister is “innocent and committed no crime.”[2] As of now, Kamile has been in detention since December 2022. Moreover, she is not allowed to have any contact with her family or to have a lawyer of choice. Moreover, Kamile may be subjected to torture and other ill-treatment. 

Urgent call for Kamile’s release

The grounds for Kamile’s detention are unclear, and Kamile’s arrest raises issues regarding the Freedom of Discrimination and the Freedom of Opinion and Expression. Therefore, Kamile should be released immediately unless there is sufficient, credible and admissible evidence that she has committed an internationally recognised criminal offence. Moreover, pending her release, Kamile’s whereabouts should be released, and she should be allowed regular access to her family and a lawyer of her choice. Lastly, pending her release, it should be ensured that Kamile has access to adequate medical care and is not subjected to torture and other ill-treatment. 

Take action!

Amnesty International, a non-governmental organisation standing up for international human rights, has called for action in the form of writing an appeal or signing a petition. By registering an appeal or signing the petition, you can help Kamile and try to protect her well-being. Please go to China: Uyghur student detained for posting protest video: Kamile Wayit – Amnesty International to see the model letter for writing an appeal, or go to Link to sign the petition.


This article discussed the targeting of Uyghur students, scholars, and other members of the Uyghur cultural elite in Artush, with particular attention to the case of Kamile Wayit, like Amnesty International, Broken Chalk calls for action and the urgent need for Kamile’s release.

Furthermore, Broken Chalk calls on the government of China to immediately release all those detained and sentenced for their ethnicity, religion, or peaceful exercise of their fundamental human rights. In addition, Broken Chalk calls on the international community to urgently condemn the Chinese government’s unconscionable persecution of Uyghur Intellectuals.


Written by Asha Ouni

[1] UHRP, “Detained and Disappeared: Intellectuals Under Assault in the Uyghur Homeland”, March 2019, available at: Microsoft Word – UHRP_Intellectuals Report Update 3.docx (accessed on 12/04/2023).

[2] RFA, “U.S.-based Uyghur man calls on China to release his 19-year-old sister”, Jane Tang for RFA Mandarin, 26/01/2023, available at: US-based Uyghur man calls on China to release his 19-year-old sister — Radio Free Asia (rfa.org) (accessed on 12/04/2023).

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