Omer Kanat

Chairman of the Executive Committee

Omer Kanat was born in Ghulja city in East Turkestan and current Chairman of the Executive Committee of the World Uyghur Congress. He helped found UHRP in 2003, as well as the World Uyghur Youth Congress, where he served for two terms as President from 1996 to 2000.  He helped found and has served as the Vice-President of the World Uyghur Congress since 2006, prior to taking up the position of Director of UHRP in 2017, Mr. Kanat simultaneously served as the International Outreach Coordinator for the World Uyghur Congress, Director of the International Uyghur and Human Rights and Democracy Foundation (IUHRDF) and Vice-President of the Uyghur-American Association. From 1999 to 2009 Mr. Kanat was the Senior Editor of Radio Free Asia’s Uyghur Service, where he covered the War in Afghanistan and Iraq, edited Uyghur-language news, conducted exclusive interviews with prominent figures in Inner Asia, including his holiness the Dalai Lama, and reported on breaking news from around the world.  In addition, he served as the Editor and later Senior Editor of Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service. Mr. Kanat is fluent in English, German, Uyghur, Turkish, Persian, Tajik, Dari, Uzbek, and is functionally proficient in the Kyrgyz and Kazakh languages.