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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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  • Uyghur PEN Centre Board members

    KHAMITZHAN  KHAMRAYEV President of the Uyghur PEN CenterEmail: hamra@mail.ru  KHAMITZHAN  KHAMRAYEV (Hamid Hamrayev) was born in Kazakhstan. He studied at the University of Uzbekistan. Later, under the EU program, he studied in France and Belgium. Worked as a teacher at the school and researcher at the Institute of Uighur studies of the AS Kazakhstan. Scientist, translator, writer.The author of numerous scientific publications. Translated from Uyghur into Russian a large number of poetic and prosaic works of Uyghur authors. From French to Russian translated the book by R.Grusse “The Empire of the Steppes.” The author of the dilogy (2 books) “Way tu Gulja” and tetralogy (4 books) “Mission of Khojas”. Since 2009 – General Secretary, 2014 – The President of the International Uyghur PEN Center. AZIZ ISA ELKUN Secretary of Uyghur PEN CentreEmail: azizisaa@gmail.com Aziz Isa Elkun is a writer 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, he worked as a Research Assistant on the “Sounding Islam China” project in 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. Since September 2017, he has served as Secretary of the PEN International Uyghur Centre (www.uyghurpen.org). Since September 2018, he is working as a Researcher Affiliate on a […]

     
  • Appointment of UHRP Board Chair Nury Turkel to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom

    UHRP Tue, 05/26/2020 For immediate release May 26, 2020 1:16 pm EST Contact: Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) (202) 790-1795, (646) 906-7722 The Uyghur Human Rights Project welcomes Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s appointment of UHRP Board Chair Nury Turkel to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). USCIRF is a leading voice in the global fight to defend religious freedom. “Speaker Pelosi’s appointment of a Uyghur American to USCIRF sends an important message. Nury’s work as a Commissioner will be a symbol of Uyghur Americans’ whole-hearted embrace of democratic values and religious freedom for all,” said UHRP Executive Director Omer Kanat.  “Nury has been an outstanding voice calling for global action to end the mass atrocities committed against Uyghurs in our homeland, East Turkistan,” Kanat continued. Mr. Turkel was a co-founder of UHRP in 2003, and has served as Board Chair since 2018. In his capacity as Board Chair of UHRP, Mr. Turkel has recently testified before Congress on Forced Labor, Mass Internment, and Social Control in Xinjiang and China’s Repression and Internment of Uyghurs. Mr. Turkel will fill the vacancy created by the expiration of the term of Commissioner Tenzin Dorjee. “It is an honor for a Uyghur American to take up a position previously filled by Professor Dorjee, whose homeland is Tibet,” said Kanat. UHRP thanks Dr. Dorjee for his dedication to ending religious persecution around the world, including the moral clarity of his statement in the USCIRF 2020 Annual Report, when he declared, “The time is now for serious multilateral government and global policy actions to end ‘systematic, ongoing, and egregious’ religious freedom and human rights violations in China, including in Tibet and Xinjiang.” UHRP also applauds USCIRF for releasing translations of its 2020 report on China in  Uyghur, Tibetan, and Chinese. “To publish documentation of the suffering of our people in our own language is […]

     
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