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Uyghur PEN Centre Conference in Crimea 19 July 2012.
 

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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 […]

       
    • 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’ […]

       
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    • 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 […]

       
    • 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 ________________________________________________________________

       
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    • ‘Our souls are dead’: how I survived a Chinese ‘re-education’ camp for Uighurs

       
    • Uyghur PEN Centre Online Revitalisation Project

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

       
    • Day of the Imprisoned Writer 2020

       
    • Free Yalqun Rozi

       
    • China: Free Ilham Tohti