Published by Uyghur PEN on 15th February 2021

Qurban Mamut, a 70 years old poet, prominent journalist, and retired editor for an Uyghur language magazine the “Xinjiang Civilization”, was held in incommunicado by Chinese authority since February 2018, according to his son Bahram Qurban, who said the arrest is being used as leverage against him because he is living in exile in the U.S. 

Bahram said to the Radio Free Asia on 18 October 2018 “My father never committed any crime, but the authorities regularly arrest people who have relatives living abroad [to gain leverage over them]. I believe that is why he was arrested. While it isn’t my fault, I feel that I am the reason for his arrest.”[1]

After Qurban Mamut stayed incommunicado at the “Re-education Camp’ for more than three years, his son’s tirelessly campaigned and searched about his father. Finally, one Han Chinese staffer at the Xinjiang Hall of Public Culture told Bahram that she knew his father’s detainment.[2]

He worked as a reporter and editor at Xinjiang Radio Station from 1976 to 1984, and Vice Editor-in-Chief at one of the most well-known magazines, Xinjiang Civilization, from 1985 to 2011. He was never a member of the Chinese Communist Party. In 2011, he retired at age 61. After he retired, he worked part-time as a requested Editor-in-Chief at Xinjiang Science Publishing house. In his more than 40 year career, he made tremendous contributions to Uyghur journalism and culture.

Qurban Mamut ((库尔班 ·⻢木提), he visited his son Bahram Qurban[3] in the US in February 2017. His son, a U.S. citizen, believes that having relatives outside China is the reason behind his father’s detention. A source told him in September 2018 that Qurban Mamut had been sent to a “transformation-through-education” facility. Given his age and lack of information about his condition, there are severe concerns for Qurban Mamut’s wellbeing.[4]

The Uyghur PEN Centre urges all PEN International members, Civil Societies, Human Rights Organizations, and Governments to pay attention to Qurban Mamut’s situation, and demand from the Chinese government about his immediate release. We call on you take action to save hundreds of unknown Uyghur writers’ and poets’ lives who are now suffering inside the Chinese internment camps in East Turkistan (Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region).

[1] Xinjiang Authorities Detain Prominent Uyghur Journalist in Political ‘Re-Education Camp’

[2] Prominent Uyghur Journalist Confirmed Detained After Nearly Three Years

[3] Bahram Qurban’s personal blog:

[4] Urgent action: 70 year old Uyghur editor held incommunicado (China: ua 103.20)


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