Jewher Ilham grew up in Beijing, the daughter of economics professor and Uighur human-rights activist Ilham Tohti. She was accompanying him on a teaching assignment to Indiana in 2013 when they were stopped at the airport by Chinese authorities.
Her father was barred from leaving, but he insisted his teenage daughter go anyway. It was the last time she saw him in person. Today, Tohti is serving a life sentence on separatism-related charges, according to the U.S. State Dept. No one in the family has spoken to him for three years, she said.