The Christopher G. Moore Foundation is delighted to announce the winner of their sixth annual literary prize honouring books that feature human rights themes.
No Escape: The True Story of China’s Genocide of the Uyghurs by Nury Turkel has been chosen as the best book with the human rights theme, published between 1 July, 2021 and 30 June 2022.
The 2022 jury, comprised of Jury Chair Bidisha Mamata, Avril Benoît and Befekadu Hailu Techane, unanimously agreed that No Escape met the criteria of the prize with extraordinary clarity and impact. No Escape gives a rare perspective on a hidden genocide – that of the Uyghur people in Western China.
No Escape brings into focus a major human rights crisis that has belatedly come to the attention of the world. Part memoir and part call to action, it is the first major book to tell the story of the Chinese government’s oppression of the Uyghur people from the inside, detailing labour camps, ethnic and religious oppression, forced sterilisation and surveillance technology used to intimidate and control.
Author Nury Turkel has first-hand experience of the repression. He was born in a reeducation camp in China, and spent the first several months of his life in captivity with his mother, while his father served in an agricultural labour camp. Nury was later able to travel to the US to study and was granted asylum there in 1998. He is now a lawyer and tireless activist for the plight of his people.
The Jury says: “No Escape is a book that few people are in the position to write: a rare perspective of the oppression of the Uyghur people of China, revealed to us from the inside – by someone who has lived the story and escaped to fight for his people’s futures. It does so without weaponising the story itself or overlaying it with geopolitical or economic motives. Turkel’s brave writing, and incomparable story were striking from our first read of it, and very clearly stood out as remarkable amongst the very many excellent books we were privileged to read this year.”
Christopher G. Moore, Prize Founder, commented: “I commend the 2022 jury for their unanimous decision, which I fully support. They had the difficult task of picking a winner from a number of excellent books this year. Why No Escape emerges on top is simply due to the author’s perception, writing skill and original material. Nury Turkel takes the reader into the daily lives of the Uyghurs, whose activities are closely monitored by a surveillance state. The author vividly portrays the fine details of an ethnic minority who have been condemned to live in the shadow of an ongoing genocide and who are a source of forced labour in China.”
The Moore Prize has been established to provide funds to authors who, through their work, contribute to the understanding and universality of human rights. This unique initiative is awarded annually, as chosen by a panel of judges whose own work focuses on human rights. The winner of the prize will receive £1,000.