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Uyghur PEN Centre Conference in Crimea 19 July 2012.
 

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  • ‘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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  • 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 […]