Uyghur Journalist and Editor Detained
International PEN is seriously concerned about the detention of Uyghur journalist and editor Hailaite Niyazi, who was reportedly arrested in October 2009. PEN seeks details of any charges against Hailaite Niyazi, and calls for his immediate and unconditional release if held in violation of Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which China is a signatory.
According to PEN’s information, Hailaite Niyazi, freelance journalist and former editor of the website Uighur Online (www.uighurbiz.net) was taken from his home in Tianshan District, Tacheng Prefecture, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), on October 1, 2009. It is believed that his arrest stems from critical interviews given to foreign media following the unrest which broke out in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, on July 5, 2009. Niyazi’s family report that he is accused of “endangering national security.” Niyazi is currently detained in Tianshan Detention Centre, Urumqi, XUAR.
Hailaite Niyazi, age 50, is a former reporter and columnist for Xinjiang Economic Daily and Xinjiang Legal News. Until June 2009 he edited and managed uighurbiz.net, the website owned by the academic and writer Iham Tohti, himself arrested in July 2009 and held for six weeks for allegedly “promoting separatism.” Iham Tohti is a member of Uyghur PEN.
On July 5, 2009, Uyghurs took to the streets of Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, to protest an incident in which a number of Uyghur workers in a toy factory in Guan Dong province, southern China, were attacked by Han Chinese and killed. These protests led to violent clashes with Han Chinese in Urumqi which were violently suppressed by the authorities. The state news agency Xinhua reports that 156 Han Chinese have been killed and over 1,000 wounded, although details and figures are impossible verify. An estimated 1,400 people are said to have been arrested.
Write A Letter
- Expressing serious concern about the detention of Uyghur journalist and editor Hailaite Niyazi, apparently for expressing critical views, and seeking details of any charges against him;
- Calling for his immediate and unconditional release if held in violation of Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which China is a signatory.
- Seeking assurances that he is granted full access to his family and legal representation, and is treated humanely in detention.
Send Your Letter To
His Excellency Hu Jintao
President of the People’s Republic of China
Chairman of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Regional People's Government
Xinjiang Weiwuer Zizhiqu Renmin Zhengfu
Xinjiang Weiwuer Zizhiqu
Please note that there are no fax numbers for the Chinese authorities. PEN recommends that you copy your appeal to the Chinese embassy in your country asking them to forward it and welcoming any comments.
Please contact PEN if sending appeals after December 30, 2009: ftw [at] pen.org