Imprisoned since 29 March 2016
Tursunjan was the writer and director of the popular Uyghur website Misranim.com, before it was shut down, publishing articles relating to the preservation of the Uyghur language.
Tursunjan was reportedly arrested for “inciting racial hatred” and “separatism” on March 29, 2016 after he re-published an article titled “Radio Free Asia cooperating with terrorists” that was previously published in the Global Times. The article was translated from Chinese to Uyghur by Omerjan Hasan Bozkir, which instigated a police investigation.
Tursunjan was initially detained in a prison in Aksu after being taken from his home in Korla City, but was reportedly transferred to a railway detention center in Urumqi, though Memet’s father told RFA that Memet were being held at a detention center in Aksu.[i]
Since his detention, no information has been released. His terminally ill mother was reportedly denied the possibility of speaking with him in February, 2017.[ii]
[i] Congressional Executive Commission on China Political Prisoner Data Base (PPD) (Date N/A), http://ppdcecc.gov/QueryResultsDetail.aspx?PrisonerNum=11774
[ii] Sulaiman, E. (2017, February 3). Chinese Authorities Turn a Deaf Ear to a Uyghur Mother’s Dying Wish, Radio Free Asia. Retrieved from: http://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/chinese-authorities-turn-02032017141629.html
[Last updated: October 2019]