Free Eight Uyghur Political Prisoners

 

Immediately release: Ilham Tohti, Atikem Rozi, Mutellip Imin, Akbar Imin, Gheyret Niyaz, Merdan Seyitakhun, Abdurazzak Shamseden and Huseyin Celil

Uyghurs in East Turkestan (also known as Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region) are routinely imprisoned for political reasons.

Ilham Tohti and Gheyret Niyaz were jailed for exercising their freedom of speech. Professor Ilham Tohti was particularly outspoken on a number of economic, social and cultural issues facing the Uyghurs through his Uighurbiz website. The case of Gheyret Niyaz illustrates the constraints placed on freedom of the press.

Uighurbiz volunteers Atikem Rozi and Mutellip Imin were sentenced in December 2014. In addition to the denial of their fundamental right to freedom of speech, the cases of Atikem Rozi and Mutellip Imin highlight the difficulties facing young Uyghurs. Rozi faced systemic discrimination when attempting to secure a passport and Imin wrote a remarkable account of his enforced disappearance at the hands of Chinese security officials.

The jailing of Merdan Seyitakhun is demonstrative of the curbs placed on religious rights in East Turkestan and Huseyin Celil’s imprisonment questions the legitimacy of China’s anti-terror campaign aimed at Uyghurs. The detention of HIV/AIDS activist, Akbar Imin is a potent example of the limited space the Uyghurs have to raise social problems with the state.

The case of Abdurazzak Shamseden is illustrative of the Chinese government’s harsh crackdown after the violent suppression of a protest in Ghulja in 1997 and how Chinese authorities target family members of Uyghur activists. His treatment in prison displays the endemic nature of torture facing Uyghur political prisoners.

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About The Eastturkestan Government in Exile
The Official Website of Eastturkestan Government in Exile

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