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Uyghur PEN Centre Conference in Crimea 19 July 2012.
 

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  • Qurban Mamut, a retired Uyghur editor held incommunicado in China

    Published by Uyghur PEN on 15th February 2021 Qurban Mamut, a 70 years old poet, prominent journalist, and retired editor for an Uyghur language magazine the “Xinjiang Civilization”, was held in incommunicado by Chinese authority since February 2018, according to his son Bahram Qurban, who said the arrest is being used as leverage against him because he is living in exile in the U.S.  Bahram said to the Radio Free Asia on 18 October 2018 “My father never committed any crime, but the authorities regularly arrest people who have relatives living abroad [to gain leverage over them]. I believe that is why he was arrested. While it isn’t my fault, I feel that I am the reason for his arrest.”[1] After Qurban Mamut stayed incommunicado at the “Re-education Camp’ for more than three years, his son’s tirelessly campaigned and searched about his father. Finally, one Han Chinese staffer at the Xinjiang Hall of Public Culture told Bahram that she knew his father’s detainment.[2] He worked as a reporter and editor at Xinjiang Radio Station from 1976 to 1984, and Vice Editor-in-Chief at one of the most well-known magazines, Xinjiang Civilization, from 1985 to 2011. He was never a member of the Chinese Communist Party. In 2011, he retired at age 61. After he retired, he worked part-time as a requested Editor-in-Chief at Xinjiang Science Publishing house. In his more than 40 year career, he made tremendous contributions to Uyghur journalism and culture. Qurban Mamut ((库尔班 ·⻢木提), he visited his son Bahram Qurban[3] in the US in February 2017. His son, a U.S. citizen, believes that having relatives outside China is the reason behind his father’s detention. A source told him in September 2018 that Qurban Mamut had been sent to a “transformation-through-education” facility. Given his age and lack of information about his condition, there are severe concerns for […]

     
  • Omerjan Hasan was arrested in April 2016 and his fate is unknown

    Published by Uyghur PEN on 11th February 2021 Omerjan Hasan, a well-known Uyghur writer, journalist, and webmaster. He was arrested in April 2016 by Aksu Police. Since then, his situation is unknown.[1] He born in February 1965 (ethnicity Uyghur, male, Chinese citizen; name in Chinese: Wumei’erjiang Aishan -吾买尔江.艾山, in Uyghur: Omerjan Hasan). He was formerly employed as a translator and vice director of the Forestry section of the Aksu Prefecture Forestry Department. The Radio Free Asia first reported about his arrest in July 2016.[2] Since his arrest, his family and friends had not been informed of his whereabouts, and there was no announcement of official charges against him.  According to the Radio Free Asia Cantonese news report and interview on 1st June 2016, an official announcement was published on the Aksu Prefectural Communist Party Disciplinary Committee website. The announcement said: “Omerjan Hasan had been expelled from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) because he had published articles which promoted an incorrect impression of the history of Xinjiang, endangering national and ethnic unity, and damaging the image of the CCP.”  Soon after this news was published on the Aksu government website, it spread to international news media, and the announcement was quickly removed. Subsequently the Radio Free Asia Uyghur Service conducted a telephone interview in Aksu covering Omerjan Hasan’s arrest. [3] Omerjan Hasan wrote and published many books and articles which aimed to promote equal civil and political rights for Uyghurs in China. He was well known to the Uyghur community by his pen name “Bozqir” (aka: Omerjan Hasan Bozqir). He also had a good reputation in the wider Chinese-speaking sphere for his Chinese language articles. He was owner and webmaster of a Uyghur language website and discussion forum named “bozqir” (http://bbs.bozqir.com.cn/forum.php).  His website was blocked soon after his arrest.[4] He was accused of publishing “incorrect articles” about the history of Xinjiang, and […]

     
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  • Perhat Tursun, Uyghur poet and writer sentenced for 16 years imprisonment

    Published by Uyghur PEN on 9th February 2021 Perhat Tursun, one of the most celebrated Uyghur poet and writers, was detained around January 2018. In February 2020, reports emerged that Chinese authorities had sentenced him to 16 years in prison. His current situation is unknown.  From the University of Colorado, Darren Byler, published an article on February 5, 2020, on the Sup China website, providing detailed information about Perhat Tursun’s disappearance. He wrote on the SupChina “Perhat was disappeared at the height of his powers by the Chinese state, a victim of the government’s re-education campaign in Xinjiang. Nearly two years ago, on January 30, 2018, I received confirmation that Perhat Tursun had been disappeared. Last week the news filtered out that he has reportedly been given a 16-year prison sentence.” “The news of Perhat’s disappearance leaked out in coded messages. A mutual acquaintance told Tahir Hamut, one of Perhat’s closest friends, that Perhat had been “hospitalized.” Tahir, a prominent poet, filmmaker, and literary critic who found a way to come to the United States in 2017.” [1] Perhat Tursun was born in Atush 1969, a city near Kashgar in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China. He graduated from Beijing Nationality University.  He worked as a researcher for the Xinjiang People’s Arts Centre in Ürümchi. Perhat Tursun is well known for his poetry and novels. He is the author “One Hundred Love Lyrics” and books “The Art of Suicide” and “Messiah Desert”.[2] The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom also reported about Perhat Tursun’s case.   “Information on his exact whereabouts and the accusations against him was unavailable. His detention came amid a campaign of arbitrary mass detention in which XUAR officials targeted Uyghurs and members of other largely Muslim ethnic groups for reasons including expression of ethnic, cultural, or religious identity. In […]

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

    Name: Chimengül AwutOccupation: Editor, award-winning Uyghur-language poetSituation: Imprisoned without trial in ‘re-education camp’ #ImprisonedWriter #ChimengulAwut Read Ma Thida’S Solidarity Letter To Chimengül Chimengül Awut is an editor and poet from Kashgar, southern Xinjiang. She published her first poem in 1987, at the age of fourteen, and has since developed a substantial body of work. In 2008, Chimengül’s collection of poetry received a prestigious Horse Award for national minority literature. At the time of her detention, Chimengül worked as an editor at the Kashgar Publishing House in Xinjiang. In July 2018, public security officials in Kashgar sent 13 employees of the Kashgar Publishing House, including Chimengül Awut, to Xinjiang’s ‘re-education’ camps. She was allegedly targeted because of her work editing a Uyghur-language novel called Golden Shoes (Altun Kesh) by Halide İsra’il, who also has been detained in Xinjiang’s ‘re-education’ camps. Owing to the extra-legal nature of the ‘re-education’ camps, she was not found guilty of committing a crime through any formal legal process and there is no official date for her release. All contact with the outside world is prohibited by the security services. Her current health and well-being are unknown. It is estimated that up to 1.8 million people like Chimengül could be held in a network of secretive ‘re-education’ camps. PEN International considers Chimengül Awut’s persecution to be a clear breach of her right to freedom of expression and calls for her to be immediately and unconditionally released. Take Action Send an appeal to the Chinese authorities Tell others: share Chimengül’s case and her work Give to our Day of Imprisoned Writer appeal Read Ma Thida’s solidarity letter to Chimengül Send an appeal to the Chinese authorities Ask the authorities to: Provide information on Chimengül Awut’s current status, and allow for independent verification. Release Chimengül Awut and her colleagues immediately and unconditionally. End the practice of […]

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