Lectures & Panels Surveilled, Detained, Disappeared: Repression in Xinjiang


WCC 2009

Xinjiang event poster

Sophie Richardson (Human Rights Watch) and Rayhan Asat (Hughes Hubbard and Reed) discuss the situation of Uighurs in Xinjiang.

Event Overview

HLS Advocates for Human Rights, East Asian Legal Studies at HLS, and the Program of Law and Society in the Muslim World will host a discussion with Sophie Richardson (Human Rights Watch) and Rayhan Asat (HLS LLM ’16), moderated by Professor William Alford.

Sophie Richardson is the China director at Human Rights Watch. A graduate of the University of Virginia, the Hopkins-Nanjing Program, and Oberlin College, Dr. Richardson is the author of numerous articles on domestic Chinese political reform, democratization, and human rights in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Vietnam. She has testified before the European Parliament and the US Senate and House of Representatives. She has provided commentary to the BBC, CNN, the Far Eastern Economic Review, Foreign Policy, National Public Radio, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. Dr. Richardson is the author of China, Cambodia, and the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence (Columbia University Press, Dec. 2009), an in-depth examination of China’s foreign policy since 1954’s Geneva Conference, including rare interviews with policy makers.

Rayhan Asat is an alumna of Harvard Law School (LLM ‘16) and currently works as an international specialist at Hughes Hubbard and Reed’s Washington, D.C. office. She is also President and founder of the American Turkic International Lawyers Association (“ATILA.”). At Hughes Hubbard, Rayhan works primarily with the Anti-Corruption & Internal Investigations practice group. She has extensive experience in Central Asia, Canada, Turkey, and China. While at Harvard Law School, Rayhan was a teaching fellow together with a leading Harvard Business School professor on a business course focused on emerging markets. Prior to Hughes Hubbard, Rayhan worked in the Istanbul office of an international law firm. Rayhan coached the American Bar Association Arbitration Moot Court Competition at American University Washington College of Law for three consecutive years. Rayhan currently coaches Law Without Wall (“LWOW”), a global, multidisciplinary collaboratory that proposes solutions to challenges in the legal education system and practices through innovation.

Professor William Alford, a scholar of Chinese law and legal history, is the Director of East Asian Legal Studies at Harvard Law School. He is the author or editor of several books, including To Steal a Book is an Elegant Offense: Intellectual Property Law in Chinese Civilization (Stanford University Press 1995), Raising the Bar: The Emerging Legal Profession in East Asia (Harvard East Asian Legal Studies 2007), 残疾人法律保障机制研究 (A Study of Legal Mechanisms to Protect Persons with Disabilities) (Huaxia 2008), and Taiwan and International Human Rights (Springer 2019). Professor Alford is a graduate of Amherst College (B.A.), the University of Cambridge (LL.B.), Yale University (graduate degrees in History and in East Asian Studies) and Harvard Law School (J.D.).

This event is co-sponsored by the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Inner Asian and Altaic Studies at Harvard, and the Harvard Muslim Law Students Association.