Originally published by Chinese Human Rights Defenders, 31.07.2010
(Chinese Human Rights Defenders- July 30, 2010) A group of Chinese lawyers and scholars have made public an open letter expressing concern about the “criminalization of speech” in the case of Uyghur journalist Hailaite Niyazi, who was sentenced on July 23 to 15 years in prison for endangering state security (for CHRD’s statement protesting Niyazi’s sentence, please see here). The original letter (available here, in Chinese) is being circulated domestically; CHRD has translated the letter and is circulating it internationally on behalf of the authors (full text below). To join the list of supporters, please email 99Gheyret@gmail.com and include your name, current city of residence, and occupation.
“Respect Freedom of Expression, Release Xinjiang Journalist Hailaite Niyazi”
We have learned that 51-year old Uyghur journalist and author Hailaite Niyazi (whose name also appears as Hairat or Gheyret Niyaz or Niyaze) was recently sentenced to 15 years in prison by the Urumqi Intermediate Court in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) for “leaking state secrets.” Born in Qoqek (Tacheng), XUAR, Niyazi graduated from the Minzu University of China in Beijing and has previously held the positions of Chief Editorial Director of Xinjiang Legal Daily and Deputy Director of the Perspectives on the Rule of Law (Fazhi Zongheng) magazine publishing house. A former editor and director of the website Uighurbiz.net, as well as manager of the site’s discussion forum, for a long time Niyazi has written online essays in Chinese, gradually building a wide following among China’s netizens.Continue Reading →