Sentence: Sentenced to six years in prison in 2008.
The Ghulja Intermediate People’s Court sentenced Uyghur trader Ghojaexmet Niyaz to six years in prison in 2008, which a source familiar with the case connected in part to Ghojaexmet Niyaz’s refusal to shave his beard, according to a 13 September 2010 report from Radio Free Asia’s Uyghur service.
Public security officers in Weihai city, Shandong province, initially detained Ghojaexmet Niyaz in May 2008 during a security sweep in advance of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, on the grounds that he did not have an identification card, according to the report. Ghojaexmet Niyaz had just come to the city with his family for work, and authorities returned him to his home in East Turkestan.
The specific charges against him at trial are not known, but the source familiar with the case said he had committed no other misdeed than not having identification and connected the sentence to Ghojaexmet Niyaz’s refusal in court to shave his beard and show remorse.
Ghojaexmet Niyaz is currently held at a prison in the Yanqi Hui Autonomous County in the Bayangol Mongol Autonomous Prefecture within East Turkestan, according to the report.
Radio Free Asia, Xitay, saqal – Burutini éliwétishni ret qilghan bir uyghurni 6 yilliq qamaqqa buyrughan, 13 September 2010, available at: http://www.rfa.org/uyghur/xewerler/tepsili_xewer/saqal-qoyghan-uyghur-jazalandi-09132010203827.html?encoding=latin
U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China, Entry for “Ghojaexmet Niyaz” in Political Prisoner Database (CECC Record Number: 2010-00383), available at: http://ppd.cecc.gov/QueryResultsDetail.aspx?PrisonerNum=8096
U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China, Xinjiang Authorities Target Beards, Veils in Campaigns to Tighten Control Over Religion, Commission Analysis, 18 October 2010, available at: www.cecc.gov/pages/virtualAcad/index.phpd?showsingle=147641
[Last updated: August 2011]