Responsive Image

Nurtay Memet

Nurtay Memet

Sentence: Sentenced in 2007 to 5 years’ imprisonment for a “superstition”-related crime

Nurtay Memet (Age at time of detention: 49), a Uyghur laborer, was tried in 2007 by the Yining (Ghulja) municipal people’s court in Yining (Ghulja) municipality, Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture and sentenced to five years in prison for committing a “superstition”-related crime (Article 300 of China’s Criminal Law).

Under Article 300, “using superstition to undermine the implement of the laws and administrative rules and regulations of the State” is punishable by prison sentences between three and seven years or minimum sentences of seven years in serious cases.

Public security officers in Ghulja had detained him earlier in 2007 on grounds related to “superstition” and to violating the region’s social order regulation.  Nurtay Memet is Muslim and his wife connected the detention to her husband’s wearing a beard.  He is being held in Wusu (Shixo) city in Tacheng (Tarbaghatay) district and his wife reports that he is in poor health. She also reported that authorities forced her to stop covering her face.


Radio Free AsiaGhuljida bir uyghur saqal qoyghanliqi üchün 5 yilliq qamaq jazasigha höküm qilindi, 20 August 2010, available at:

U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on ChinaEntry for “Nurtay Memet” in Political Prisoner Database (CECC Record Number:  2010-00293), available at:

U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on ChinaXinjiang Authorities Target Beards, Veils in Campaigns to Tighten Control Over Religion, Commission Analysis, 18 October 2010, available at:

[Last updated: October 2019]