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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 […]

     
  • 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 […]

     
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  • 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 ________________________________________________________________

     
  • 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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