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Uyghur PEN Centre Conference in Crimea 19 July 2012.
 

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  • New episode of PEN International’s Creative Witnesses premiered in solidarity with writers at risk in the Asia/Pacific Region

    PEN International Thursday 4 February 2021 – 11:09am On February 8, PEN International will premiere the second episode of Creative Witnesses, a filmed event that brings together musicians and creative artists in support of writers who have been imprisoned, harassed or have lost their lives because of their work and commitment to freedom of expression. This new episode of Creative Witnesses will be released on PEN International’s YouTube Channel on Monday 8 February at 10am UK time. It will showcase new and original creative work by renown musicians and artists: Kurdish painter Zehra Doğan, Uyghur filmmaker and performer Mukaddas Mijit, Canadian/American poet Julia Balm and London-based musicians George Jones and Pearl Bloor. Focusing on the Asia/Pacific region, the production will feature responses to three PEN International cases: Saw Win (Saw Wai) (Myanmar), poet and PEN’s member facing imprisonment for defaming the military; Perhat Tursun(People’s Republic of China), Uyghur author who was forcibly disappeared in Xinjiang in 2018; and Varavara Rao (India), poet and human rights activist detained without trial since 2018 on the grounds that he incited caste violence, allegations that he strongly denies. It will also honour the life and work of Chinese writer and Nobel Prize recipient Liu Xiaobo as part of the Liu Xiaobo Anniversary Campaign. The event has been founded and organised by writer and activist Ege Dündar in collaboration with musician and writer Gabriel Moreno. Dündar is PEN International’s Youth Engagement Coordinator and Founder of İlkyaz Young Writers Network — a literary platform which promotes the work of writers aged under 35 with the support of Norwegian PEN, PEN Turkey and PEN International. He is also the son of leading Turkish journalist and former prisoner of conscience Can Dündar. Introducing this new episode, Ege Dündar said: “With Creative Witnesses we want to establish ‘chains of solidarity’ in resistance to the ‘chains of imprisonment’ […]

     
  • Prominent Uyghur Poet and Author Confirmed to Have Died While Imprisoned

    RFA Uyghur news 2021-01-25Reports of the death come as details emerge on the sentence length of another detained poet. The oldest of more than a dozen staff members arrested after their Uyghur-run publishing house in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) released “problematic” books has died while serving an 11-year jail term, according to official sources. At least 14 staff members of Kashgar Publishing House in the XUAR’s Kashgar (in Chinese, Kashi) city have been arrested since 2017, including Haji Mirzahid Kerimi, an 82-year-old former editor for the company and celebrated poet. The renowned writer had routinely risked his freedom by penning the most comprehensive histories of figures who helped to establish a Uyghur kingdom in Central Asia between the 8th and 11th centuries. Kerimi was sentenced to 11 years in prison, despite a serious health condition, because he wrote five books that were later blacklisted by the government and had delivered a “problematic” speech during an award ceremony for his poetry, sources told RFA’s Uyghur Service in late 2018. Reports that Kerimi had died on Jan. 9, 2021 recently began circulating on Uyghur-language social media and RFA was able to confirm that he passed away in prison while serving his latest term. An officer at the Id Kah Police Station in Kashgar refused to discuss whether Kerimi had died or whether he had overseen security at his funeral, referring further questions to the local Public Security Bureau (PSB). But two police officers from Kashgar, who spoke to RFA on condition of anonymity fearing reprisal, said that the author and poet had expired recently. “We heard word that he died—we don’t know the details, though,” one officer said. “They brought his body from the hospital,” he added, noting that it had first been brought to the hospital from the prison […]

     
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  • How to sustain Uyghur culture in the diaspora?

    At a time of crisis for Uyghur language and culture, in the face of China’s policies of cultural erasure in the Uyghur homeland, we mark International Mother Language Day by inviting Uyghur writers, poets and artists, translators and experts on Uyghur culture, to discuss how best to sustain Uyghur language, literature and culture in the diaspora.  PEN Uyghur Centre promotes literature, freedom of expression, and the right to use our mother tongue, and works to sustain Uyghur culture in the diaspora.  We celebrate PEN International Centenary 2021! 100 years of celebrating literature and protecting freedom of expression The Centenary is a celebration of PEN ’s 100 years. Bringing together PEN Centres, members, partners, writers, readers and activists for a unique programme of events, campaigns and activities across residencies and workshops globally, the Centenary is a celebration of PEN ’s unfinished story. Moderator:   Aziz Isa ElkunWriter, poet, director of Uyghur PEN Online Revitalisation Project Speakers: Mukaddas Mijit Ethnomusicologist, film maker, dancer, and music manager Joshua FreemanPostdoctoral fellow, Princeton Society of Fellows Abduweli AyupWriter, poet, and linguist specialising in Uyghur language education Tahir IminScholar of political science, founder of Uighur Times Agency Rachel HarrisProfessor of Ethnomusicology, SOAS, University of London Ross HolderAsia Regional Programme Coordinator of PEN International Details:  Date and time: Sunday 21 February, 15:00 London time Discussion topic: “How to sustain Uyghur culture in the diaspora?” Platform: Webex Webinar  Language: English  The event will be live streamed on Uyghur PEN’s Facebook page.  Please register for the Webinar on Eventbrite:www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/how-to-sustain-uyghur-culture-in-the-diaspora-tickets-137415189531 Organised by Uyghur PEN Online Revitalisation Project with the support of PEN International.  www.uyghurpen.org | www.pen-international.org ________________________________________________________________

     
  • Uyghur PEN Centre Online Revitalisation Project

    AZIZ ISA ELKUN Director of Uyghur PEN Centre Online Revitalisation ProjectBoard member of Uyghur PEN CentreEmail: aziz.isaa@gmail.com Aziz Isa Elkun is a writer, poet and academic. He was born in Shayar County in East Turkistan. He graduated from Urumchi University. He has been living in London since 2001. In London, he studied at Birkbeck University. He has published many poems, stories, and research articles in both Uyghur and and English language (www.azizisa.org). He has co-authored English language articles in Inner Asia and Central Asian Survey (‘Invitation to a Mourning Ceremony’: Perspectives on the Uyghur Internet and Islam by smartphone: reading the Uyghur Islamic revival on WeChat’). From 2013 to 2020, he worked as a Research Assistant on the “Sounding Islam China” and “Uyghur Meshrep in Kazakhstan” (www.meshrep.uk) projects based at SOAS, University of London. In 2012, he published his first book “Journey from Danube river to the Orkhun valley” in Uyghur. He is an active member of the exile Uyghur Community and founder of a Uyghur music group – the London Uyghur Ensemble. From September 2017 to October 2020, he has served as Secretary of the PEN International Uyghur Centre (www.uyghurpen.org). Since January 2021, he is working as a Director for the Uyghur PEN Centre Online Revitalisation Project. Uyghur PEN Centre Online Revitalisation Project As we all know, the current situation of the Uyghurs in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China is critical and deteriorating. Uyghur writers, poets, academics and artists who have tried to exercise their basic rights to freedom of expression have become primary targets and victims of China’s Xi Jinping’s genocidal policies in the region. The Uyghur PEN Centre, a subordinate diaspora PEN Centre of the PEN International family, has encountered many hurdles over the past 10 years like many other exile writers, however we are determined to continue our work and give […]

     
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  • Day of the Imprisoned Writer 2020: Take Action for Chimengül Awut

     
  • Day of the Imprisoned Writer 2020

     
  • Free Yalqun Rozi

     
  • China: Free Ilham Tohti

     
  • Uyghur writer Omerjan Hasan has been arrested and his fate is unknown

     
  • Let’s write for freedom, let the “Wild pigeon” go free!