Published by Uyghur PEN on 18th June 2021 He was born in 1970 into a teacher’s family in Qaghiliq County of Kashgar Prefecture. After graduating from the Literature Faculty of Xinjiang University in 1993, he worked as a reporter for the Xinjiang People’s Radio Station. The Uyghurs love poetry, which is very special to them. It is an essential part of Uyghur cultural heritage and expression, and plays an important role in the continuation of creativity and developing the Uyghur language and literature. The poet Adil Tunyaz shocked the Uyghur world with his poem, written in 1992, “Qeshqerdiki yershari” (The earth of the city of Kashgar). It was read by many Uyghurs, and he became one of most celebrated poets, with a special place in the hearts of the Uyghurs. ,يۇلتۇزلار پەرۋاز قىلار تاڭ سەھەردە,پەسىللەر پەرۋاز قىلار دەرەخلەردە.بۇ شەھەر پەرۋاز قىلار چۆچەكلەردە,بۇ يەردىكى ئادەملەر.پەرۋاز قىلار يۈرەكلەردە The stars are soaring at dawn,The seasons are flying in the trees,The city is soaring in the legend.The people here,Soar in our hearts.[i] He published the following poetry collection books: “If I fell in love with you” (Söyü qalsam séni nawada); “The secrecy of a single poet” (Boytaq sha’irning mexpiyiti); “Eyes under the neqab” (Chumbeldiki köz); “The street on the sea” (Déngizdiki kocha). One article collection book: “Nights in the land of the Prophet” (Peyghembir diyaridiki kéchiler) According to the RFA Uyghur Service[ii] and United States Commission on International Religious Freedom[iii], “Adil Tuniyaz and his wife, Nezire Muhammad Salih, were both arrested in December 2017. Their eldest son, Imran (19 years old), was also arrested at a Beijing school where he was studying Arabic. Imran was reportedly sent to a detention facility in Xinjiang. It is believed that their three younger children have been placed in state-run orphanages for Uyghur youth whose guardians have been detained. Adil’s father-in-law, the well-known […]
Uyghur PEN Centre was formally accepted as a member of PEN International during the Assembly of Delegates of the 74th International PEN World Congress on 6th October 2008 in Bogota, Colombia.
Uyghur PEN Centre is dedicated to promoting freedom of expression, thought and information for all. It stands in solidarity with writers everywhere who have been forced into silence by censorship. Uyghur PEN’s main activities are to protect and raise awareness of arrested Uyghur writers, poets, journalists and artistsin the Uyghur homeland of East Turkistan (Xinjiang, China).
The current president is Hamit Hemrayew, a Uyghur writer based in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The current secretary is Aziz Isa Elkun, a Uyghur poet and writer based in London.
Uyghur PEN Centre currently has 44 active members.
Uyghur PEN is now 12 years old; what we have achieved?
Uyghur PEN Centre is now 12 years old.When he established Uyghur PEN Centre in 2006, the first president Kurash Kusan believed in peaceful dialogue in the face of ethnic tension, suspicion and hatred, and this remains the core of Uyghur PEN’s philosophy. Today, his dream of a PEN centre dedicated promoting free speech in East Turkistan and Central Asia is thriving. Our membership is steadily growing, as well as our programs. In 2009 we helped launch the Ural-Altaic PEN Network and in February 2010, then Uyghur PEN opened an office in Lund, Sweden. It’s office moved to London since 2017.
In April 2010, Uyghur PEN Centre launched its English-Uyghur bilingual official website www.uyghurpen.orgwhich is active until today. 2010 also marks our first international campaign for the release of the writer Nurmuhemmet Yasin. We are also working on a public database to track the harassment and imprisonment of writers in Xinjiang.
Through the efforts of our members in Kazakhstan we publish a seasonal literary magazine “Uyghur PEN Magazine” (in Uyghur and Russian languages) beginning in 2013.
In 2009, Uyghur PEN Centre and other PEN centres teamed up to create a new regional PEN network, the Ural-Altaic PEN Network. The network groups a string of countries across Europe and Asia (from Finland and Hungary in the west to Korea and Japan in the east) where Uralic or Altaic languages are spoken.
On 28 August 2017, for the first time, Swedish, Uyghur, Tibetan and Independent Chinese PEN Centres came together and successfully held “The First International Conference of Four-PEN Platform” in Malmö City hall in Sweden. At the end of the conference, Uyghur Centre held its board members meeting and member’s election. During the meeting, Aziz Isa Elkun, board member, was elected as secretary of Uyghur PEN Centre.
Since 2017, many western media have reported that more than a million Uyghurs are detained in China’s internment camps in East Turkistan (Xinjiang/China) including numerous Uyghur academics, writers, journalists, artists and public figures. China has enforced a communication blockade for the Uyghurs between home and abroad, and foreign reporters have been banned from reporting from the region.
Uyghur PEN Centre has been focusing on the internment camps, working in collaboration with other PEN Centres and Human Rights NGOs to protect and raise awareness of arrested Uyghur writers, poets, journalists, artists. We were very pleased to be able to attend PEN International 84thWorld Congress in Pune, India from 25-29 September 2018. During the Congress, we attended the panel of Writers in Prison Committee, where we presented on the situation of arrested Uyghur writers and academics, as well as the crisis of “concentration camps” in East Turkistan, and we urged worldwide PEN Centres to take action to defend Uyghur rights. At the end of Congress, a resolution on the People’s Republic of China was approved by the Assembly of Delegates of PEN International.
In November 2018, we organized a large-scale “Uyghur Culture Night” event in Londonin collaboration with the Uyghur Community UK, to raise awareness of the issues.We are actively searching for future collaborations with other PEN Centres, as well as maintaining effective communication with PEN International Secretariat. [Full]