Post Tagged with: "Uyghur writers"
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 […]
New episode of PEN International’s Creative Witnesses premiered in solidarity with writers at risk in the Asia/Pacific Region
PEN International Thursday 4 February 2021 – 11:09am On February 8, PEN International will premiere the second episode of Creative Witnesses, a filmed event that brings together musicians and creative artists in support of writers who have been imprisoned, harassed or have lost their lives because of their work and commitment to freedom of expression. This new episode of Creative Witnesses will be released on PEN International’s YouTube Channel on Monday 8 February at 10am UK time. It will showcase new and original creative work by renown musicians and artists: Kurdish painter Zehra Doğan, Uyghur filmmaker and performer Mukaddas Mijit, Canadian/American poet Julia Balm and London-based musicians George Jones and Pearl Bloor. Focusing on the Asia/Pacific region, the production will feature responses to three PEN International cases: Saw Win (Saw Wai) (Myanmar), poet and PEN’s member facing imprisonment for defaming the military; Perhat Tursun(People’s Republic of China), Uyghur author who was forcibly disappeared in Xinjiang in 2018; and Varavara Rao (India), poet and human rights activist detained without trial since 2018 on the grounds that he incited caste violence, allegations that he strongly denies. It will also honour the life and work of Chinese writer and Nobel Prize recipient Liu Xiaobo as part of the Liu Xiaobo Anniversary Campaign. The event has been founded and organised by writer and activist Ege Dündar in collaboration with musician and writer Gabriel Moreno. Dündar is PEN International’s Youth Engagement Coordinator and Founder of İlkyaz Young Writers Network — a literary platform which promotes the work of writers aged under 35 with the support of Norwegian PEN, PEN Turkey and PEN International. He is also the son of leading Turkish journalist and former prisoner of conscience Can Dündar. Introducing this new episode, Ege Dündar said: “With Creative Witnesses we want to establish ‘chains of solidarity’ in resistance to the ‘chains of imprisonment’ […]
The Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC) of PEN International works on behalf of persecuted writers worldwide. It was established in 1960 in response to increasing attempts to silence voices of dissent by imprisoning writers and journalists. Working on behalf of persecuted writers worldwide, the WiPC monitors between 700-900 cases across the globe each year. The WiPC mobilises the wider PEN community to take action through its Rapid Action Network alerts, targeted regional campaigns, and by utilising PEN’s consultative status with the UN to submit UPR country reports. The Committee’s Rapid Action Network Alerts provide details of cases of individuals whose lives and liberty are being threatened and makes specific suggestions for action. In addition to its work on behalf of individual writers, the Committee creates campaigns on issues affecting freedom of expression, such as Religious Defamation, Impunity and Criminal Defamation, and campaigns focused on specific regions or countries, such as the Americas, Iran, China and Turkey. The Writers in Prison Committee also works through the UN to bring attention to individual cases and to systemic human rights problems in specific countries. Salil Tripathi is the Chair of the Writers in Prison Committee of PEN International, elected at the 81st PEN International Congress in Quebec City, Canada. From 2009-2013 he was co-chair of the Writers at Risk Committee at English PEN. Salil is an award-winning journalist and writer. He was born in India and has been a foreign correspondent in Singapore and Hong Kong and now lives in London. He is contributing editor at Mint and Caravan in India. His articles have also appeared in major international newspapers and magazines, including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, International Herald Tribune, New Statesman, Guardian, Independent, Far Eastern Economic Review, and many others. His awards include the Citibank Pan Asia Economic Journalism Award in 1994, […]