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Uyghur PEN Centre Conference in Crimea 19 July 2012.
 

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  • The Poetry of Trauma – Webinar

    Uyghur poetry reading  –  مۇشائىرە –  Mushaira   ئۇيغۇر شېئىرىيىتىئۈرۈمچى 5-ئىيۇل قىرغىنچىلىقىنىڭ 12 يىللىقىنى خاتىرىلەش ۋە 2021- يىلى ئۇيغۇر قىرغىنچىلىقى بىلەن ياشاش Remembering the 12th anniversary of the 5 July Urumchi Massacre, and living with Uyghur Genocide in 2021 ئازابقا تولغان نەزمىلار The Poetry of Trauma ۋاقتى: 2021-يىلى 4-ئىيۇل لوندون ۋاقتى 15:00Sunday 4 July 2021, 15:00 London time PEN Uyghur Centre promotes literature, freedom of expression, and the right to use 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 ! • Date and time: Sunday 4 July 2021, 15:00 London time • Topic: Uyghur poetry • Platform: Webex Webinar  • Language: Uyghur  • The Webinar will be shared live on Uyghur PEN’s Face Book.  
Registration on the Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-poetry-of-trauma–tickets-160995633273 Moderators:  Aziz Isa ElkunDirector of Uyghur PEN Online Revitalisation Project 
Poets:  Medinay Bawudun (USA)Omerjan Imin (Germany)Aygul Yusuf (Norway)Rahile Kamal (Sweden)Abduljan Aznibaqiev (Kazakhstan)Kunduzay Hamut (Sweden)Mustafa Halil (United Kingdom)Aziz Isa Elkun (United Kingdom) On July 5, 12 years ago in Urumchi, thousands of Uyghurs, led by the relatives of the dead workers and university students, took to the streets to ask the authorities to investigate the incident that took place in Shaoguan, Guangdong province of China on 26 June 2009, and bring the perpetrators to justice. In this incident around 20 Uyghur factory workers were killed and many others were injured when a mob of Han Chinese workers raided the dormitories of Uyghur workers. The peaceful Uyghur protestors asked the government not to remain indifferent to the incident and commission an independent delegation to investigate. However, Chinese police used tear gas and heavy weapons and opened fire on the protestors.  According to Uyghur sources and witness accounts, at least 500 people, most of whom were Uyghurs, were killed on July 5 and the […]

     
  • #100PENMembers No. 87: Ahtam Omer

    MAY 18, 2021 / WRITERSANDFREEEXPRESSION Today’s #100PENMembers is prominent Uyghur writer Ahtam Omer, recently sentenced to twenty years in prison by the authorities of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China. He is the author of a well-known short story Child of the Eagle and the popular novel Greetings to the Homeland from Distant Horizon, which depicts the author’s first travel abroad and the comparisons that he makes with his homelife.  He was taken from his home on 12 March 2017, a month after his brother and nephew. The reason given, according to witnesses, was that he had paid for his brother’s son to study in Egypt. Egypt is one of several countries blacklisted in the XUAR for travel by Uyghurs because of a perceived risk of their coming into contact with and being indoctrinated by Islamic extremists. He was charged with “separatism” in a secret trial in the Xuar capital, Urumqi in 2018. In 2020 several of his books – including Child of the Eagle – were burned by authorities. According to an RSA report ‘The story was initially published in China Ethnicities Literature, a national journal, and long stayed far away from any official criticism as a result. However, by 2017, as a wave of “looking to the past” had begun in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), including in the field of literature, a number of books were rounded up under accusations that they contained separatist content.’ The book had a significant impact on Uyghur society because of its focus on the themes of freedom and the spirit of struggle. Omer’s arrest took place at the same time as authorities in the region began to detain an estimated 1.8 million Uyghur and other Muslim minorities in vast internment counts. The Chinese government has denied the existence of camps, then, in 2019, began to refer […]

     
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  • 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 […]

     
  • For PEN’s Poets: reflections by Jennifer Clement, President of PEN International

    PEN International Sat 20 March 2021 Today the world marks World Poetry Day, an opportunity to celebrate and promote poetry and the power and creativity of language. Each year on this day, PEN International highlights the case of poets who face great challenges across the globe simply for their work, and asks its members and supporters to take action on their behalf.  When I think of the poets incarcerated in the world and punished, I think of poetry. Poetry is almost the only thing that has no monetary value. You cannot sell a poem. Nobody wants to buy a poem. Poems are not for sale in the market by the apples and peaches, or in the auction houses by sculptures and paintings. I confess that it gives me a strange wonder and shock to think that a poem is so powerful and so dangerous that a poet can be locked up and sentenced to death for rhymes and couplets, for metaphors and symbols. When contemplating how dangerous poems have become, I recall the words of British poet and novelist Thomas Hardy: ‘If Galileo had said in verse that the world moved, the Inquisition might have let him alone’. In our times, if Galileo had inked his discoveries in free verse with stanza breaks, he might be looking at the sky- his round, telescope-shaped sky- from a prison cell.    Mahvash Sabet, imprisoned in Iran in 2008 and freed 10 years later in 2017, penned impassioned poems to Fariba with whom she shared a cell at the beginning of her incarceration. Sabet wrote: ‘O my companion in the cage! How many cruelties we saw together; how many favours too and blessings in our isolation. […] They tied your wings to mine, feather to feather, and you rested your head beside mine every night’. The poet Li Bifeng, […]

     
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  • Celebrating World Poetry Day & Nowruz Festival with Uyghur poetry

     
  • Keeping the Uyghur Culture Alive in Exile

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

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

     
  • Day of the Imprisoned Writer 2020

     
  • Free Yalqun Rozi