Nurmuhemmet Yasin

Presumed Released

Sentenced in February 2005 to 15 years of prison for “inciting Uyghur separatism, inciting racial hatred or discrimination”.

According to Radio Free Asia, authorities in East Turkestan detained Nurmuhemmet Yasin (age at detention: 31) on 29 November 2004, after the Kashgar Literature Journal published his story “Wild Pigeon” in late 2004. The story tells of a caged bird who commits suicide rather than live without freedom. According to Dui Hua, on 2 February 2005, the Bachu (Maralweshi) County People’s Court sentenced Nurmuhemmet Yasin to 10 years’ imprisonment for “inciting racial hatred or discrimination,” a crime under Article 249 of the Criminal Law. Some sources have reported that the sentence was for “inciting splittism,” a crime under Article 103 of the Criminal Law.

On 14 July 2005, the same court sentenced Korash Huseyin, editor of the Kashgar Literature Journal, to three years’ imprisonment for “dereliction of duty” for publishing Nurmuhemmet Yasin’s story (Korash Huseyin was released in 2008).

The Kashgar Intermediate People’s Court upheld Nurmuhemmet Yasin’s sentence on appeal on 17 March 2005.

According to information reported in a March 17 Radio Free Asia (RFA) article, prison authorities have taken repercussions against imprisoned writer Nurmemet (Nurmuhemmet) Yasin since he met with UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak in late 2005 and reported mistreatment to Nowak. According to the RFA article, authorities have reduced Nurmuhemmet Yasin’s family visits from every two months to twice a year and have restricted Nurmuhemmet Yasin’s activities within prison as punishment for having not “reformed his views.”

He is currently held at Xinjiang No. 1 Prison.

Sources:

Radio Free Asia, Yazghuchi nurmuhemmet yasingha ‘ idiyisini yaxshi özgertmigenlik’ sewebi bilen jaza bérilgen, 17 March 2009, available at: http://www.rfa.org/uyghur/xewerler/tepsili_xewer/nurmemet-yasin-yawa-kepter-03182009023521.html?encoding=latin

U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China, Entry for “Nurmuhemmet Yasin” in Political Prisoner Database (CECC Record Number:  2005-00018), available at: http://ppd.cecc.gov/QueryResultsDetail.aspx?PrisonerNum=5511

Uyghur PEN, Biography of Nurmuhemmet Yasin, available at: http://www.uyghurpen.org/author-biography.html

[Last updated: October 2011]

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Gulmira Imin and and another four Uyghur website moderators

Sentenced in April 2010 to life imprisonment for “splittism, leaking state secrets, and organizing an illegal demonstration.”

Chinese security forces detained Gulmira Imin (born in 1978) on 14 July 2009 in the city of Aksu, East Turkestan for her alleged involvement in the organization of the 5 July 2009 demonstration in Urumqi.

At the time of her arrest, Gulmira was as a staff member at the local government office in Aksu where she had began to work in 2000. In addition, she also contributed to the Uyghur-language website Salkin with poetry and short stories and had been invited to help as a moderator in late spring 2009. Gulmira had been critical of government policies in her online writings.

Salkin, we well as other Uyghur websites, reportedly posted an announcement calling Uyghurs to demonstrate in Urumqi on 5 July 2009 against the government´s inaction regarding the Shaoguan incident.

Note on Shaoguan incident: At a toy factory in Shaoguan, in the southern province of Guangdong, at least two, but possibly several dozen Uyghur migrant workers were killed by Han Chinese workers on 26 June 2009. While the 5 July protest seemed to be sparked by this incident, the root causes lie in the longstanding discriminatory policies of the Chinese government towards the Uyghurs and the egregious repression of Uyghurs’ religious, political, educational, linguistic, and economic rights.

The 5 July protest was planned as a peaceful protest, was in fact peaceful, and was brutally and lethally suppressed by Chinese security forces. The violent and illegal reaction of the Chinese security forces led then to ethnic violence and riots between Uyghurs and Han Chinese. According to data published by the Chinese Xinhua news agency, thousands were injured and 197 people were killed, but the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) estimates – based on eyewitness reports – that more than 1000 people died in the riots. However, until today, the exact death toll on both sides is not clear since so far no independent investigation of these events has been undertaken. In addition, hundreds of people were detained and an untold number (probably hundreds) of people disappeared.

Gulmira was in Urumqi on 5 July to participate in the demonstration, which many Uyghurs considered legal (demonstration had been announced in internet for several days and was not removed by Chinese authorities, therefore many people believed that the demonstration was authorized by the authorities), and witnessed the brutal crackdown of the demonstration. In the course of the day, she spoke several times by phone with her husband who is living in Norway and told him what was happening on Urumqi. During the conversations, her husband could clearly hear gunshots in the back and Gulmira told him that she saw a lot of casualties, several dead bodies, and that demonstrators were running around and that there was a lot of chaos.

After the events of 5 July 2009, Gulmira was disappeared for three month. Her family believed that she might have been killed in the aftermath of the protests. Her husband in Norway tried to reach Gulmira and family members by phone and e-mail to know her whereabouts, but in the night from 5 – 6 July, Chinese authorities imposed a communication blackout on East Turkestan, which remained in place for nearly 10 months thereby largely cutting off East Turkestan’s residents from the outside world (no internet, no telephone).

Her family only learned about her detention in October 2009, when China Central Television (CCTV) broadcasted a documentary entitled The July 5 Riot from Start to Finish which named and showed Gulmira, wearing prison attire:

It claimed that the July 5th unrest in Urumqi was organized by separatist forces cooperating inside and outside the country and said that Gulmira was one of six organizers who attended three meetings planning the demonstration and that she leaked state secrets to her husband. The leaks were allegedly made in the before mentioned phone calls from Gulmira to her husband on 5 July.

China Central Television also drew links between Gulmira and the World Uyghur Congress (WUC), which the Chinese authorities have accused of instigating the “riot” or orchestrating events on 5 July 2009, an accusation that is absolutely false and fabricated.

The sentence against her became public only on 8 August 2010 in an article published by Radio Free Asia (RFA). On 1 April 2010, the Urumqi Intermediate People’s Court tried, convicted, and sentenced Gulmira to life in prison for “splittism, leaking state secrets, and organizing an illegal demonstration” that are crimes under Articles 103, 111, and 296 of China’s Criminal Law. Her lawyer, whom she never had met before, was present during the trial. Another five other Uyghur defendants – all website moderators – were sentenced together with Gulmira, namely:  Ahmet Tursun, Muhter, Memetjan Abdulla, Tursun Mehmet, and Gulnisa Memet.

During her trial, Gulmira Imin is said to have tried to address the court about torture and other ill-treatment in a police detention centre that was overcrowded and had no shower facilities. In detention, she and other detainees were given salty water to drink, they were not allowed to go to the toilet, they were beaten, and the wounded were left untreated. Finally she was coerced into signing a document without knowing the content.

Since her conviction, Gulmira has met her lawyer only twice. She is allowed to receive family visits once every three months. She appealed to the court sentence (date unknown), but her appeal was rejected. Gulmira is currently held in the Xinjiang Women’s Prison (Xinjiang No. 2 Prison) in Urumqi.

Sources:

U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China, Entry for “Gulmire Imin” in Political Prisoner Database (CECC Record Number: 2010-00238), available at: http://ppd.cecc.gov/QueryResultsDetail.aspx?PrisonerNum=7948

Committee to protect Journalists (CPJ), “Imprisoned Journalists in 2010”, 1 December 2010, available at: http://www.cpj.org/imprisoned/2010.php#china

Radio Free Asia (RFA), Uyghur Web Moderators Get Life, 08 August 2010, available at: http://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/sentence-08082010190802.html

RFA Unplugged, The Fight For Justice Takes Its Toll On Uyghur Family, 10 September 2010, available at:  http://www.rfaunplugged.org/2010/09/01/the-fight-for-justice-takes-its-toll-on-uyghur-family/

China Central Television (CCTV), The July 5 Riot from Start to Finish, documentary, available on Youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2a0kN7E4GlA&feature=related (part 1), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaObRk6h7jY&feature=related (part 2) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlg6sI7-3qA&feature=related (part 3)

[Last updated: October 2011]

 

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Memetjan Abdulla

Sentenced in April 2010 to life imprisonment for “helping to instigate deadly ethnic rioting in Urumqi in July 2009”.

According to Radio Free Asia (26 August 09 and 2 September 09), public security officers in Beijing took Uyghur Web site administrator Memetjan (Muhemmetjan) Abdulla (born in 1977) away in mid-July 2009.

Memetjan Abdulla was a journalist at China National Radio and also an administrator for the Web sites Uyghur Online and Salkin. Based on information that Memetjan Abdulla’s friends sent to Radio Free Asia (20 December 2010 and 21 December 2010), the Urumqi Intermediate People’s Court tried and sentenced him to life in prison on 1 April 2010, at the same closed trial as for Gulmire Imin. Precise charges against him are not known, however it is believed that he was charged for “Helping to instigate deadly ethnic rioting in Urumqi in July 2009”.

He reportedly translated a World Uyghur Congress (WUC) announcement calling Uyghurs abroad to protest official handling of attacks against Uyghurs in Shaoguan, Guangdong, in June 2009, which he had taken from a Chinese-language Web site and reposted in translation on Salkin. He also reportedly spoke to foreign reporters in Beijing about the Shaoguan incident, which preceded demonstrations and riots in Xinjiang in July 2009. Authorities reportedly charged that he helped incite the July events. His prison location is not known.

Sources:

U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China, Entry for “Memetjan Abdulla” in Political Prisoner Database (CECC Record Number:  2009-00384), available at: http://ppd.cecc.gov/QueryResultsDetail.aspx?PrisonerNum=7579

Radio Free Asia (RFA), Uyghurbiz’ tor békitining bashqurghuchisi muhemmet abdulla iz – Déreksiz yoqap ketken, 26 August 2009, available at:  http://www.rfa.org/uyghur/xewerler/tepsili_xewer/uyghurbiz-tor-bet-bashqurghuchisi-08262009182307.html?encoding=latin

Radio Free Asia (RFA), Xitay, selkin tor békitining bashqurghuchi muhemmetjan abdullaning péyigha chüshken, 02 September 2009, available at:  http://www.rfa.org/uyghur/xewerler/tepsili_xewer/muhammed-abdulla-tutuldi-09022009173319.html?encoding=latin

Radio Free Asia (RFA), Terjiman we muxbir muhemmetjan abdullaning muddetsiz qamaqqa höküm qilinghanliqi melum bolmaqta, 20 December 2010, available at: http://www.rfa.org/uyghur/xewerler/tepsili_xewer/terjiman-mixbir-12202010165808.html?encoding=latin

Radio Free Asia (RFA), “Uyghur Journalist Handed Life Term”, 21 December 2010, available at: http://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/journalist-12212010162519.html

NY Times, Editor Said to Get Life Sentence for Uighur Reports, 24 December 2010, available at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/25/world/asia/25uighur.html?_r=1

AFP, Uighur group protests trial of Xinjiang journalist, 24 December 2010, available at: http://news.asiaone.com/News/Latest%2BNews/Asia/Story/A1Story20101224-254653.html

[Last updated: August 2011]


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Abdulghani Memetemin

Released on 25 July 2011

Sentenced in June 2003 to nine years in prison for “supplying state secrets to an organization outside the country.”

According to Amnesty International, authorities detained Abdulghani Memetemin (age at detention: 38), a Uyghur journalist and teacher, on 26 July 2002 in Kashgar, East Turkestan. The Kashgar Intermediate People’s Court sentenced him to nine years imprisonment on 24 June 2003, for “supplying state secrets to an organization outside the country,” a crime under Article 111 of China’s Criminal Law. Radio Free Asia reported that he also received three years deprivation of political rights. Memetemin had neither access to a lawyer during his pre-trial detention or legal representation at the trial. He reportedly was tortured while in custody.

According to the verdict, Abdulghani Memetemin had been providing information to the East Turkestan Information Centre (ETIC), an NGO run by exiled Uyghurs in Germany which publicises reports of human rights abuses against Uyghurs in China. His postings reportedly covered various issues, including information about Uyghur farmers allegedly being forced to work without pay in government projects, confiscation and burning of Uighur history books, restrictions on Islamic religious practices, and the difficulties faced by the unemployed. ETIC was formally labelled a “terrorist organisation” by the Chinese authorities in December 2003, although the evidence for this conclusion is unclear.

The charges against Abdulghani Memetemin consisted of 18 specific counts, including: translating records of human rights violations in East Turkestan and ETIC documents into Chinese; sending news articles and transcriptions of speeches by the Chinese authorities to ETIC; and trying to recruit additional reporters for ETIC.

Amnesty International considered Abdulghani Memetemin to be a human rights defender, reporting peacefully on human rights violations against the ethnic Uighur community in East Turkestan. He is also a prisoner of conscience detained in violation of his fundamental human rights to freedom of expression and association.

Abdulghani Memetemin, a father of two, served his prison sentence in Xinjiang No. 4 Prison. He was due for release on 25 July 2011, however it is unclear if he has been released or not.

He is an honorary member of the Uyghur PEN, German and Independent Chinese PEN Centre (ICPC).

Sources:

Amnesty International, “China: More activists stand up for human rights, despite risks”, AI Index: ASA 17/059/2004, 6 December 2004, available at: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA17/059/2004/en

Amnesty International, “China: Human rights defenders at risk”, ASA 17/045/2004, 6 December 2004, available at: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA17/045/2004/en

Amnesty International, The Wire, December 2004. Vol. 34, No. 11, available at: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/NWS21/011/2004/en

Committee to protect Journalists (CPJ), “Imprisoned Journalists in 2010”, 1 December 2010, available at: http://www.cpj.org/imprisoned/2010.php#china

Radio Free Asia (RFA), China Jails Uyghur Journalist For “Separatism”, 30 July 2004, available at: http://www.rfa.org/english/news/politics/142490-20040730.html

Rebiya Kadeer in The Wall Street Journal China’s Uighur Oppression Continues, 04 August 2010, available at: http://www.uyghurcongress.org/en/?p=3710 and http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704017904575408650462789996.html

U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China, Entry for “Abdulghani Memetemin” in Political Prisoner Database (CECC Record Number:  2005-00047), available at: http://ppd.cecc.gov/QueryResultsDetail.aspx?PrisonerNum=5543

U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China, Uyghur Political Prisoners Mehbube Ablesh’s and Abdulghani Memetemin’s Prison Sentences Expire, 18 October 2011, available at: http://www.cecc.gov/pages/virtualAcad/index.phpd?showsingle=163986

 

[Last updated: November 2011]

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Isa Husen

Sentenced in June 2005 to 12 years in prison; charges unknown.

Isa Husen (Eysa Husen) was born in 1966 in Toksu (Shin he in Chinese). He graduated from Shixeza Agricultures University in 1988 and after his graduation he was employed by Toksu agricultural office. Later he was vice-chief of Kichikyultuz villages in Toksu until he was arrested on August 1994.

In February 1994 he had founded the “Justice Party of East Turkestan” in Toksu and was elected president. In this position, he denounced the unjust policies of the Chinese government against the Uyghur people and was arrested few months after the founding of the party in August 1994.

He was sentenced to nine years in prison and was released in 2003. After his release, he did not participate in any kind of political activities, but he was highly respected by the people in Toksu. The Chinese authorities therefore considered him a dangerous person and arrested him again in June 2005 without presenting evidences against him. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison on unknown charges.

He is currently held in Urumqi, but the exact prison is unknown.

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