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Uyghur PEN Centre Conference in Crimea 19 July 2012.
 

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  • China – Xinjiang: Severe prison sentences for Uyghur writers is latest example of government efforts to erase Uyghur culture

    PEN International Monday 10 May 2021 – 3:37pm PEN International is alarmed by recent reports of severe prison sentences being handed down to Uyghur writers and intellectuals, many of whom had already been extrajudicially detained for several years in Xinjiang’s notorious re-education camps. We continue our call for an immediate end to the atrocious repression of Uyghurs and other minorities in Xinjiang carried out by the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Among those detained is literary translator and academic principal, Ahmetjan Juma, who was reportedly sentenced in 2019 to 14 years’ imprisonment according to a social media post made by his brother on 1 May 2021. The sentencing took place two years after he was initially detained in a re-education camp in 2017 for possessing a book that was prohibited by the authorities. His brother, who works as Deputy Director of Radio Free Asia’s (RFA) Uyghur Service, believes that Ahmetjan Juma’s punitive prison sentence is a form of punishment for his work at RFA highlighting human rights abuses in Xinjiang. Recent reports have also emerged about the sentencing of Uyghur writer, Ahtam Omer, to 20 years’ imprisonment on separatism charges after he was initially detained on 12 March 2017 for allegedly sending money to his nephew while he was studying in Egypt. The author of much-loved books, including Child of the Eagle and Polluted Lake, Ahtam Omer was also a member of the China Writers’ Association and had previously worked as a professional writer for the Kashgar Prefectural Literary and Artistic Association, according to a profile by Uyghur PEN. Despite Child of the Eagle having been published as part of the prestigious China Ethnicities Literature journal, in 2020 the book was reportedly taken off shelves and burned by the authorities as part of a campaign to vilify and destroy Uyghur literary works, many of which were previously given […]

     
  • Ahtam Omar, a prominent Uyghur writer, sentenced to 20 years imprisonment in China

    Published by Uyghur PEN on 1st May 2021 A prominent Uyghur writer Ahtam Omar, well known to the Uyghur people with his numerous stories, novels and screen writings, sentenced to 20 years imprisonment by the authorities of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China.  According to the Radio Free Asia Uyghur Service report, Ahtam Omer, who had been missing since early 2017, had been detained and that his book was ripped from shelvesacross the region last year and set alight as part of a campaign to censor him.” Ahtam Omer was detained from his home on March 12, 2017, in Kashgar (in Chinese, Kashi) prefecture’s Makit (Maigaiti) county, a month after his brother Anwar Omer and nephew Iskander Omer. The source said, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal. “The basic reason for this, the reason was given at the time, was that he had sent his older brother’s son to study in Egypt and sent money to him.” The source said, “Ahtam Omer’s literary work was stopped during the police investigation into his activities, after which he was charged with “separatism” and sentenced to prison in a secret trial in the XUAR capital. Urumqi in late 2018.”[i] Ahtam Omar was born in 1962 in Makit County. He graduated from Kashgar Pedagogical School in 1981, worked as a rural Union cadre, presenter for the Kashgar Municipal Radio Station and professional writer of the Prefectural Literary and Artistic Association; screenwriter for the Tangritagh Film Production Studio, and for the Xinjiang Song and Dance Troupe. He joined the Chinese Writers’ Association in 2008.  Ahtam Omer is an outstanding Uyghur writer with his unique style. “The greetings to the homeland from distance horizon”, which published at the beginning of the 1990s, became one of the most-read novels. That novel depicted the author’s visit to […]

     
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  • Whereabouts, Well-Being of Renowned Uyghur Poet Unknown Three Years After Detention

    RFA Uyghur 2021-04-28 Abduqadir Jalalidin’s children continue to advocate on his behalf and demand his release from overseas. Uyghur scholar and poet Abduqadir Jalalidin, in an undated photo.Abduqadir Jalalidin The situation and well-being of a renowned Uyghur intellectual who was detained by authorities in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region remains unknown more than three years after he was taken into custody, according to the man’s U.S.-based son. In late April 2018, RFA’s Uyghur Service learned that Abduqadir Jalalidin, a Uyghur professor at Xinjiang Normal University as well as a well-known writer and poet, had been detained three months earlier by State Security forces in the regional capital Urumqi. Jalalidin’s writings have been popular among the Uyghur people, as have his literary translations into Uyghur, including George Orwell’s iconic novel Animal Farm. He had advised a number of graduate students, training a new generation of community researchers. His son Babur told RFA that he and his Japan-based older sister Bulbulnaz have continued to advocate for their father’s release but have obtained little information about his situation since learning of his detention. “They took him from our home on the evening of Jan. 29, 2018, around 7:00 or 8:00 p.m.,” he said. “Up to now I have been unable to obtain any information about his health or what he is doing. We also don’t know why they took him away or how long he’s been sentenced to.” According to Babur, police raided their family home one day before arresting Jalalidin, confiscating Uyghur-language materials, as well as computers, tablets and phones. “And then the next day … they took my father away and never brought him back.” “My father never broke the law. All of his works were published by government publishing houses, and prior to being published they were edited by […]

     
  • Xinjiang Authorities Sentence Prominent Uyghur Author to 20 Years in Prison

    RFA Uyghur 2021-04-23 Ahtam Omer was targeted for sending his nephew to Egypt to study and sending him money there. A facility believed to be an internment camp located north of Kashgar, in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, June 2, 2019. AFP Authorities in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) have sentenced a prominent Uyghur author, whose work was targeted in a book burning campaign following his detention four years ago, to 20 years in prison, according to officials. A tipster recently told RFA’s Uyghur Service that Ahtam Omer, the author of a collection of short stories entitled Child of the Eagle and who had been missing since early 2017, had been detained and that his book was ripped from shelves across the XUAR last year and set alight as part of a campaign to censor him. According to the source, Omer was detained in 2017 in Kashgar (in Chinese, Kashi) prefecture’s Makit (Maigaiti) county, a month after his brother Anwar Omer and nephew Iskander Omer. “Ahtam Omer was detained and taken from his home on March 12, 2017,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal. “The basic reason for this, the reason given at the time, was that he had sent his older brother’s son to study in Egypt and sent money to him.” Egypt is one of several countries blacklisted by authorities in the XUAR for travel by Uyghurs because of a perceived risk of indoctrination with Islamic extremism. The source said Omer’s literary work was stopped during the police investigation into his activities, after which he was charged with “separatism” and sentenced to prison in a secret trial in the XUAR capital Urumqi in late 2018. In an effort to verify the claims, RFA’s Uyghur Service spoke with a representative from the office where […]

     
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  • Celebrating World Poetry Day & Nowruz Festival with Uyghur poetry

     
  • Keeping the Uyghur Culture Alive in Exile

     
  • Qurban Mamut, a retired Uyghur editor held incommunicado in China

     
  • Xinjiang Authorities Detain Prominent Uyghur Journalist in Political ‘Re-Education Camp’

     
  • Omerjan Hasan was arrested in April 2016 and his fate is unknown

     
  • Perhat Tursun, Uyghur poet and writer sentenced for 16 years imprisonment