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A political activist from the north west of China, Xinjiang region, Kadeer campaigns for the rights of the Uyghur people; they are a minority and, their women in particular, are being systematically targeted and undermined by the Chinese government.

Kadeer was a successful business woman until her arrest in 1999; a six year sentence for sending her US based husband, also a human rights activist, articles about Xinjiang. On her release in 2005 she fled to America.

She heads the World Uyghur Congress which represents the Ugyhur community living in exile. She was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.