[China] Celebrated Uighur writer rumoured to have died in prison

English PEN was shocked and saddened by a report published on 2 January 2013 suggesting that our Honorary Member, the celebrated Uighur writer Nurmuhemmet Yasin, may have died in prison.

According to ‘China: Uighur writer’s death in prison would be bitter blow’ (Amnesty International, 2 January 2013), Nurmuhemmet Yasin, who has been serving a ten year prison sentence for “inciting Uighur separatism” since 2004, has reportedly died in prison.  The report suggests that whilst Yasin’s death was reported only a few days ago, he “apparently died sometime in 2011 in Shaya prison in western China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region.” For more details, please click here.

A close relative of Nurmuhemmet Yasin is now understood to have questioned these reports, stating that not only was he in good health and good spirits when she visited him in July last year, but that she has an appointment to meet him later this month.

Whilst we are hopeful that these rumours are indeed false, we remain seriously concerned for Nurmuhemmet Yasin’s welfare. We are therefore joining Amnesty International in calling on the Chinese authorities to confirm or deny Yasin’s death as a matter of urgency, and would urge our supporters to do the same.

TAKE ACTION

Send letters of appeal

  • Urging the Chinese authorities to confirm or deny the reports of Nurmuhemmet Yasin’s death in prison

Write to:

His Excellency Mr Liu Xiaoming
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
49 Portland Place
London
W1B 1JL

You may wish to send a letter of appeal using the form below.  A sample letter is provided but it is always better if you are able to personalise your appeal.

[ecampaign ‘to=press@chinese-embassy.org.uk’ subject=”Nurmuhemmet Yasin”]

Your Excellency,

I am writing to you as a supporter of English PEN, the founding centre of the international association of writers, to express my grave concern at reports that the celebrated Uighur writer Nurmuhemmet Yasin has died.

According to a recent Amnesty International report, Nurmuhemmet Yasin, who has been serving a ten year prison sentence on charges of “inciting Uighur separatism” since 2004, has reportedly died in prison. Whilst Yasin’s death was reported only a few days ago, he is understood to have died in 2011 in Shaya prison in western China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region.

I was extremely shocked and saddened to read this report, and join English PEN and Amnesty International in calling on the Chinese authorities to confirm or deny the reports of Yasin’s death as a matter of urgency.

I look forward to your swift response.

Yours sincerely,

[/ecampaign]

About Cat Lucas

Cat Lucas is English PEN's Writers at Risk Programme Manager

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