Apr 18, 2007

East Turkestan: Kadeer Son to be Jailed

Ablikim Abdureyim, son of prominent political activist Rebiya Kadeer, has been sentenced to nine years in prison on subversion charges, marking yet another effort of Chinese suppression on Kadeer’s family.

Below is an excerpt from an article written by Gillian Wong published by Forbes:

The son of a prominent U.S.-based Chinese Muslim activist was sentenced Tuesday to nine years in prison on subversion charges, state media reported.

Ablikim Abdureyim was sentenced in Urumqi, capital of the Muslim Xinjiang region in China's far west, after confessing to charges of "instigating and engaging in secessionist activities," the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Abdureyim's mother, Rebiya Kadeer, once was one of China's most prominent businesswomen but became a critic of the communist government's treatment of Uighurs, Turkic-speaking Muslims in Xinjiang.

She was detained in 1999 and sentenced to eight years in prison on charges of endangering state security but was allowed to leave for the United States in 2005.

Kadeer said she had not been informed by the Chinese government or the court about the sentence and denounced the trial process and Abdureyim's conviction. She said her son was innocent.

"They would not appoint a lawyer for him and didn't give him an opportunity to defend himself, and they held the hearing in secret," Kadeer said in a telephone interview from her home in Washington, D.C. "On what basis are they convicting my son?"

The Urumqi court convicted Abdureyim of spreading secessionist articles over the Internet, instigating the public against the government and writing articles that distorted China's human rights and ethnic policies, the report said.

He will also be denied political rights for three years, Xinhua said. Under Chinese law, political rights include free speech and the ability to gather or protest.

Abdureyim's two brothers were convicted of tax evasion last year.

Alim Abdureyim was sentenced to seven years in prison and fined $62,500 while his older brother, Kahar, was fined $12,500 but not jailed.

Kadeer has said the charges are all false and her sons are innocent.

The Washington-based Uyghur American Association, of which Kadeer is president, said in November that during his detention, Abdureyim had been carried out of the Tianshan Detention Center in Urumqi on a stretcher, and that the group feared he may have been "beaten or tortured."

China says it is fighting an Islamic separatist movement in Xinjiang, where Uighurs are the dominant ethnic group. They refer to the territory as "East Turkestan." […]