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Uyghur PEN Centre Conference in Crimea 19 July 2012.
 

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Uyghur Writers

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

    After 10 years living in France, I returned to China to sign some papers and I was locked up. For the next two years, I was systematically dehumanised, humiliated and brainwashedby Gulbahar Haitiwaji with Rozenn Morgat The man on the phone said he worked for the oil company, “In accounting, actually”. His voice was unfamiliar to me. At first, I couldn’t make sense of what he was calling about. It was November 2016, and I had been on unpaid leave from the company since I left China and moved to France 10 years earlier. There was static on the line; I had a hard time hearing him. “You must come back to Karamay to sign documents concerning your forthcoming retirement, Madame Haitiwaji,” he said. Karamay was the city in the western Chinese province of Xinjiang where I’d worked for the oil company for more than 20 years. “In that case, I’d like to grant power of attorney,” I said. “A friend of mine in Karamay takes care of my administrative affairs. Why should I come back for some paperwork? Why go all that way for such a trifle? Why now?” The man had no answers for me. He simply said he would call me back in two days after looking into the possibility of letting my friend act on my behalf. My husband, Kerim, had left Xinjiang in 2002 to look for work. He tried first in Kazakhstan, but came back disillusioned after a year. Then in Norway. Then France, where he had applied for asylum. Once he was settled there, our two girls and I would join him. Kerim had always known he would leave Xinjiang. The idea had taken root even before we were hired by the oil company. We had met as students in Urumqi, the largest city in Xinjiang province, and, as new […]

     
  • Free Yalkun Rozi

    Uyghur PEN Centre 10 August 2020 A public figure, journalist, writer and literary critic, born in Atush in 1966, and graduated from Xinjiang University in 1987. He worked as a journalist for Urumchi People’s Radio Broadcasting. From 1991, he worked as an editor for “Xinjiang Education” newspaper, and from 2005, he worked as an editor for Xinjiang Education Publishing. He is author of many of books and articles about Uyghur education, literary criticism, modern history and various Uyghur historical and social issues. He was detained in October 2017 soon after he returned from a trip abroad. Since then we have learned that he has been sentenced to a 15 year prison term, but we are unable to get official confirmation.  On 14th July 2018, Uyghur PEN Centre submitted Yalkun Rozi’s case to the PEN International Writers in Prison Committee along with other five prominent Uyghur writers whom arbitrarily locked inside the interment camps or arrested in the Uyghur Autonomous region of China. These Uyghur writers’ cases were debated taking concern the general worsening Uyghur situation during the 84th PEN International Congress held in Pune, India from 25-29 September 2018. In 2019, PEN International Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC) officially accepted these Uyghur writers cases and started campaigning for their release with 146 PEN Centres globally including the Uyghur PEN Centre and other relevant international organizations. Tumaris wants to see her father, Yalqun Rozi. A leading intellectual who was detained in late 2016 and later sentenced to 15 years. She demands his immediate release. Relevant source:https://www.rfa.org/uyghur/xewerler/siyaset/radiyomizgha-mektup-09242018150730.html

     
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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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