Ekberjan Jamal

Sentenced in February 2008 to 10 years of prison for “splittism and revealing state secrets”.

According to a 15 April 2009 report from Radio Free Asia (RFA) based on an interview with Ekberjan Jamal’s mother, authorities in Turpan municipality detained Ekberjan (age at detention: 22) on 25 December 2007, after he used his mobile phone to transmit to friends in the Netherlands the sounds of shopkeepers’ demonstrations in Turpan.

His friends recorded the sounds and gave the recordings to Hong Kong-based Phoenix News and to RFA. RFA used them in a broadcast and Ekberjan posted RFA’s online version of the broadcast on his personal webpage.

The authorities shut down Ekberjan’s webpage when they detained him. Ekberjan’s mother told RFA that he was tried for allegedly sending information abroad on 21 different occasions and that the Turpan Intermediate People’s Court sentenced him to 10 years in prison on 28 February 2008 for splittism and revealing state secrets, crimes under articles 103 and 11 of the Criminal Law.

According to witnesses, the shopkeepers protested in Turpan on 1, 17, and 19 November 2007 (see 2007 RFA articles about the demonstrations dated 1, 2, and 26. November 2007). They were protesting against local authorities, who they said had failed to keep a promise to restore their businesses and compensate them for lost income after a fire on October 3, 2007 at the Turpan Grand Bazaar.  According to residents, the fire killed one person and destroyed about 1 million yuan’s worth of merchandise.  The sounds Ekberjan shared by cell phone were of police sirens, voices, and his own voice explaining what he was witnessing.  Radio Free Asia’s Uyghur service received and used the sounds on 26 November 2007 in a broadcast.

As of April 2009, he was being held in the Xinjiang Number 4 prison in Urumqi. According to Committee to Protect Journalists, Uyghur rights groups said there were no updates on his case.


Radio Free Asia, Ekberjan jamal sumrugh téléwiziyisi we erkin asiya radiyosigha uchur yetküzgini üchün 10 yilliq késilgen, 13 April 2009, available at: http://www.rfa.org/uyghur/xewerler/tepsili_xewer/ekperjan-jamal-kesilgen-04142009064714.html?encoding=latin

Radio Free Asia, Ekberjan jamalning késilishi we uning nöwettiki ehwali, 14 April 2009, available at: http://www.rfa.org/uyghur/xewerler/tepsili_xewer/ekperjan-jamal-kesilishi-04152009161240.html?encoding=latin

Radio Free Asia, Youth jailed for Alleged Separatism, 15 April 2009, available at: www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/uyghurcellphone-04142009165038.html

U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China, Entry for “Ekberjan Jamal” in Political Prisoner Database (CECC Record Number:  2009-00193), available at: http://ppd.cecc.gov/QueryResultsDetail.aspx?PrisonerNum=7386

U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China, Xinjiang Authorities Block, Punish Free Expression,  Commission Analysis, 2 July 2009, available at: http://www.cecc.gov/pages/virtualAcad/index.phpd?showsingle=119624

UNHCR, 2016 Prison Census- China: Ekberjan Jamal, 1 December 2016, available at: https://www.refworld.org/docid/586cb8e326.html

Committee to Protect Journalists, Ekberjan Jamal, 2017, available at: https://cpj.org/data/people/ekberjan-jamal/index.php

[Last updated: October 2019]