Uighur journalist goes on trial in China a year after unrest

Originally published by CPJ Committee to Protect Journalists,23 July 2010

New York, July 22, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the Chinese government to dismiss charges against Gheyret Niyaz, a Uighur journalist and website manager, and release him from prison. According to the Uyghur American Association (UAA), Niyazi will be tried in Urumqi, the capital of China’s far-western Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region on July 28.

As CPJ reported October 2009, Niyaz faces charges of “endangering state security” stemming from ethnic unrest in Xinjiang in July 2009. Niyaz, who had worked for state newspapers Xinjiang Legal News and Xinjiang Economic Daily, also managed and edited the website Uighurbiz until June 2009. Authorities have blamed local and international Uighur sites for fueling the violence between Uighurs and Han Chinese in the predominantly Muslim Xinjiang region.

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China renews ‘Go West’ effort

Originally Published by Asia Times, 23 july 2010

By Mitch Moxley

BEIJING – China is stepping up its 10-year-long effort to develop its vast western regions, home to energy and mineral resources crucial to its future growth. So far, the campaign’s results have been mixed.

Earlier in July, China’s Communist Party announced a plan to invest more than US$100 billion 23 infrastructure projects “to promote the fast and healthy development of the western areas,” according to China Daily, a state-owned newspaper.

The announcement is part of larger campaign to address inequalities between China’s western hinterlands and coastal east.

In 1978, Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping opened China to the world and ushered in an era of prosperity in the heavily populated coast. But the country’s vast western regions, which make up 71% of 

China’s area but just 28% of its population, were largely left behind, even though diverted rivers and hydropower projects helped fuel the east’s boom.

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Uyghur Journalist To Face Trial

Originally published by RFA, 22 July 2010
By Mihray Abdilim

Sources say criminal proceedings are imminent. 

gheyret-niyaz266.jpg
Gheyret Niyaz in a screen grab from Uyghurbiz.net on March 25, 2010
 
HONG KONG—An ethnic Uyghur journalist arrested for talking to foreign media about the deadly July 2009 ethnic riots in far-northwestern China faces an imminent criminal trial, according to supporters.

 The Washington-based Uyghur American Association (UAA) said it is “extremely concerned about the upcoming trial of Uyghur journalist and webmaster Gheyret Niyaz on

HONG KONG—An ethnic Uyghur journalist arrested for talking to foreign media about the deadly July 2009 ethnic riots in far-northwestern China faces an imminent criminal trial, according to supporters. The Washington-based Uyghur American Association (UAA) said it is “extremely concerned about the upcoming trial of Uyghur journalist and webmaster Gheyret Niyaz on charges of ‘endangering state security.’”
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China jails Uighur journalist for 15 years: employer

Originally published by Reuters,23 July 2010
By Emma Graham-Harrison

BEIJING (Reuters) – A Chinese court in the restive western region of Xinjiang has given a Uighur journalist and website manager 15 years in jail for endangering state security by speaking to foreign journalists, his employer said on Friday.

Uighurbiz.net, where Gheyret Niyaz worked as an administrator, posted a notice saying he had been sentenced at a hearing on Friday, quoting his wife who was in the court.

“Gheyret Niyaz admitted in court that he accepted interviews from foreign media, but insisted that he had no malicious intentions and was only doing what a citizen, or reporter, should do,” his wife Reshalaiti was quoted as saying.

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China to try Uighur journalist for speaking July protests

Originally published by World Bulletin, 22 July 2010

China will next week try a Uighur journalist and website manager on charges of “endangering state security” after he spoke to foreign journalists about deadly protests in Muslim Uighur region, an overseas activist group said on Thursday.

Gheyret Niyaz, whose trial is to take place on July 28, was one of a number of Uighur journalists, webmasters and bloggers detained after ethnic clashes in the Muslim region in July 2009, the Uyghur American Association (UAA) said.

Clashes over the summer between Han Chinese and Muslim Uighur residents in Urumqi left up to 200 people dead, according to Chinese government figures. However, Uighur exile groups said up to 800 people died, many of them Uighurs shot or beaten to death by police.

“Police reportedly informed the 51-year-old Niyaz when he was initially detained in October 2009 that he was being detained because he had talked with foreign journalists about the unrest that took place in Urumqi,” the UAA said in a statement.

“The Uyghur American Association is extremely concerned about the upcoming trial of Uyghur journalist and webmaster Gheyret Niyaz on charges of ‘endangering state security'”.

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China to try Uighur journalist on “security” – report

Originally published by Reuters, 22 July 2010

By Emma Graham-Harrison

BEIJING (Reuters) – China will next week try a Uighur journalist and website manager on charges of “endangering state security” after he spoke to foreign journalists about riots in western China, an overseas activist group said on Thursday.

Gheyret Niyaz, whose trial is to take place on July 28, was one of a number of Uighur journalists, webmasters and bloggers detained after ethnic unrest in energy-rich Xinjiang region in July 2009, the Uyghur American Association (UAA) said.

Nearly 200 people died in violence that exploded across the regional capital, Urumqi, after a protest by the minority Turkic Uighurs, who have called the region home for centuries but fear they are being marginalised by Han Chinese.

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Family of Imprisoned Uyghur Christian Alimujiang Denied Visiting Rights

ChinaAid Press 07-19-2010

Since Uyghur Christian prisoner Alimjan Yimit (Alimujiang Yimiti) was moved in April to No. 3 Prison on the outskirts of Urumqi to begin serving a 15-year sentence, it was expected the normal rules regarding monthly supervised family visits would allow his mother and his wife Gulinuer and children to see him again. After being held for over two years in a detention center in Kashgar and denied all contact with family, the possibility of seeing Alimjan was their sole consolation in light of this extremely harsh and unjust sentence. Now, even that hope has been lost as the prison officials, or more likely higher-ups behind them, perpetuate the abuse. They demand a new letter be brought each visit, written and stamped by the local police verifying Alimjan’s wife and mother’s relationship to him.  The local police, meanwhile, say it is unnecessary and refuse to cooperate.

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Palau pushes Australia to take Uighurs

Originally published by AFP, 22 July 2010

Palau President Johnson Toribiong says he will press Australia to take in former Guantanamo detainees from the Chinese Muslim Uighur minority who want to quit their temporary refuge in the Pacific.

Toribiong said on Thursday he would raise the issue of the Uighurs’ resettlement during talks with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on the sidelines of next month’s Pacific Islands Forum in Vanuatu.

After seven months on Palau, the six Uighurs issued a plea last month to be allowed to move to a permanent home, and Toribiong said he will point out to Gillard that at least one of them has an Australian wife.

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