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Uyghur PEN Centre Conference in Crimea 19 July 2012.
 

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Archive for May, 2021

 
  • China – Xinjiang: Severe prison sentences for Uyghur writers is latest example of government efforts to erase Uyghur culture

    PEN International Monday 10 May 2021 – 3:37pm PEN International is alarmed by recent reports of severe prison sentences being handed down to Uyghur writers and intellectuals, many of whom had already been extrajudicially detained for several years in Xinjiang’s notorious re-education camps. We continue our call for an immediate end to the atrocious repression of Uyghurs and other minorities in Xinjiang carried out by the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Among those detained is literary translator and academic principal, Ahmetjan Juma, who was reportedly sentenced in 2019 to 14 years’ imprisonment according to a social media post made by his brother on 1 May 2021. The sentencing took place two years after he was initially detained in a re-education camp in 2017 for possessing a book that was prohibited by the authorities. His brother, who works as Deputy Director of Radio Free Asia’s (RFA) Uyghur Service, believes that Ahmetjan Juma’s punitive prison sentence is a form of punishment for his work at RFA highlighting human rights abuses in Xinjiang. Recent reports have also emerged about the sentencing of Uyghur writer, Ahtam Omer, to 20 years’ imprisonment on separatism charges after he was initially detained on 12 March 2017 for allegedly sending money to his nephew while he was studying in Egypt. The author of much-loved books, including Child of the Eagle and Polluted Lake, Ahtam Omer was also a member of the China Writers’ Association and had previously worked as a professional writer for the Kashgar Prefectural Literary and Artistic Association, according to a profile by Uyghur PEN. Despite Child of the Eagle having been published as part of the prestigious China Ethnicities Literature journal, in 2020 the book was reportedly taken off shelves and burned by the authorities as part of a campaign to vilify and destroy Uyghur literary works, many of which were previously given […]

     
  • Ahtam Omar, a prominent Uyghur writer, sentenced to 20 years imprisonment in China

    Published by Uyghur PEN on 1st May 2021 A prominent Uyghur writer Ahtam Omar, well known to the Uyghur people with his numerous stories, novels and screen writings, sentenced to 20 years imprisonment by the authorities of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China.  According to the Radio Free Asia Uyghur Service report, Ahtam Omer, who had been missing since early 2017, had been detained and that his book was ripped from shelvesacross the region last year and set alight as part of a campaign to censor him.” Ahtam Omer was detained from his home on March 12, 2017, in Kashgar (in Chinese, Kashi) prefecture’s Makit (Maigaiti) county, a month after his brother Anwar Omer and nephew Iskander Omer. The source said, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal. “The basic reason for this, the reason was given at the time, was that he had sent his older brother’s son to study in Egypt and sent money to him.” The source said, “Ahtam Omer’s literary work was stopped during the police investigation into his activities, after which he was charged with “separatism” and sentenced to prison in a secret trial in the XUAR capital. Urumqi in late 2018.”[i] Ahtam Omar was born in 1962 in Makit County. He graduated from Kashgar Pedagogical School in 1981, worked as a rural Union cadre, presenter for the Kashgar Municipal Radio Station and professional writer of the Prefectural Literary and Artistic Association; screenwriter for the Tangritagh Film Production Studio, and for the Xinjiang Song and Dance Troupe. He joined the Chinese Writers’ Association in 2008.  Ahtam Omer is an outstanding Uyghur writer with his unique style. “The greetings to the homeland from distance horizon”, which published at the beginning of the 1990s, became one of the most-read novels. That novel depicted the author’s visit to […]

     
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