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

    Omerjan Hasan (ethnicity Uyghur, male, 51 years, Chinese citizen; name in Chinese: Wumei’erjiang Aishan – 吾买尔江.艾山, in Uyghur:Omerjan Hasan Bozqir) a well-known Uyghur writer, journalist and webmaster. He was formerly employed as a translator and vice director of the Forestry section of the Aksu Prefecture Forestry Department. He was arrested in around April 2016 according to the Washington-based Radio Free Asia Cantonese and Uyghur Services which first reported his arrest in July 2016. (1) In September 2016, friends of Omerjan Hasan contacted the WUC to say that they were very concerned about his current situation, and that since his arrest in April 2016, his family and friends had not been informed of his whereabouts, and there was still 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 stated that 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. (2) 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 “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 […]

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

    Aziz Isa ElkunSecretary of PEN International Uyghur Centrewww.azizisa.org/en ئەركىنلىك ئۈچۈن يازايلى، «ياۋا كەپتەر» ئەركىن پەرۋاز قىلسۇن * Presentation at “The First International Conference of Four-PEN Platform” held in Malmö City hall in Sweden on 28 August 2017. Dear ladies and gentlemen, friends and colleagues of the PEN, I am honoured to be here to speak on behalf of the Uyghur PEN Center and for the Uyghur people who are almost entirely denied freedom of expression by China in this digital era of the 21st century ! As we are writers, translators and intellectuals in many artistic and cultural fields gathered here to find common ground – the slogan ‘no enemies, no hatred’ is easily said, but in the current reality for Uyghurs in their homeland of East Turkestan (also known as Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region), who are now suffering from unprecedented oppression and lack of rights, this is a hard goal to achieve. But the hate that separates us from each other – which may be based on race, religion or gender or other types of discrimination – will fail, because that hate is artificially bred by governments or other power holders to achieve their aims. The history of humanity always reminds us that tolerance and forgiveness are the only remedies that can achieve peace and prosperity for all of us in the global village. The author of the “Wild Pigeon” – Numuhammet Yasin – is still kept in a Chinese prison since 2004. I recently found an old newspaper dating back to 1992, in which our poems were published in the same column. But I am free and my colleague is in prison. I was at university in the same year as Ilham Tohti, and until few months before his arrest, we kept email exchange. Now he is sentenced […]

     
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