Sep 09, 2011

East Turkestan: WUC Lists Profiles Of Current Political Prisoners

World Uyghur Congress has established a list of profiles of political prisoners currently in prison thus illustrating the current human rights situation in East Turkestan. This list includes imprisoned writers, journalists and webmasters, imprisoned people on charges relating to freedom of speech and of association as well as religious charges. 

The Uyghur’s of East Turkestan, are experiencing a crackdown on their cultural, religious and political rights in spite of the fact their attempts to express these rights have been conducted peacefully. With 23 profiles already listed, the real number is expected to be significantly higher. Due to the high-level restrictions imposed by the Chinese authorities, we can only receive information on a few incidences. However, all the profiles share common characteristics of political silencing against peaceful protest and other dubious accusations, notwithstanding the disproportionately heavy sentences.

Further human rights abuses have been reported in regard to the treatment of those who have been imprisoned as well as the transparency of the criminal proceedings and coercion in signing confessions. Mr. Gulmire Imin was sent to prison on 1 April 2010, to life imprisonment for “splittism, leaking state secrets and organizing an illegal demonstration,” crimes under Articles 103, 111, and 296 of China’s Criminal Law. With regards to the other 5 sentenced at the same time, little is known.

It has also been alleged  that the Chinese authorities have use the September 11th attacks in New York as an excuse to justify the detention of people doing peaceful protests in East Turkestan under the charge of ‘extremism.’ Mr. Abdukadir Mahsum would represent one example of this; although sentenced to 15 years in prison for holding peaceful protests against the Chinese governments’ human rights violations against the Uyghur people, it was reported in the media that it was due to extremism.

To view the profiles – which will increase in number – and for more information click here.