View Full Version : Chinese authorities detain Uighur Web site managers

04-11-09, 01:41
New York, October 30, 2009—Chinese police have reportedly arrested two Uighur journalists who published online about Uighur issues in Xinjiang, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Chinese authorities blamed local and international Uighur Web sites for fueling July's ethnic violence, according to international news reports.

Security officials arrested Web site manager Hailaite Niyazi in his home in the regional capital, Urumqi, on October 1, according to The Associated Press and Radio France Internationale today. Authorities informed his family on October 4 that he had been detained for endangering national security, RFI reported. Niyazi, who has worked for state newspapers Xinjiang Legal News and Xinjiang Economic Daily, also managed and edited the Web site Uighurbiz until June this year, according to AP.

A second Uighur Web site manager, Dilixiati Paerhati, has been missing since August 7, when unidentified men detained him in his apartment Urumqi, AP report said. Amnesty International publicized the case last week when Paerhati’s brother Dilimulati, a U.K.-based student, appealed for his release. Paerhati’s popular Web site, Diyarim, has been inaccessible since early July, when violent rioting sparked by ethnic tensions between indigenous Uighurs and Han Chinese who have settled in the area prompted a widespread crackdown on the Internet in Xinjiang. The autonomous region remains largely offline, according to international news reports.

“We are concerned that Hailaite Niyazi and Dilixiati Paerhati, who covered the volatile Xinjiang region, have been detained,” said Bob Dietz, CPJ Asia program coordinator. Urumqi authorities must clarify their status immediately. Managing a Web site is not a crime.”

Paerhati was detained and interrogated about the riots on July 24 but released without charge after eight days. No formal notification of his arrest followed his disappearance on August 7 and his whereabouts are unknown, according to Amnesty. “He only edits a Web site, he hasn’t done anything wrong,” his brother told the group.

Uighurbiz founder Ilham Tohti was questioned about the contents of the site and detained for more than six weeks before being released in August, according to international news reports. Tohti told AP he did not publicize Niyazi’s arrest earlier for fear of damaging his case. Niyazi’s wife believes Niyazi gave interviews to foreign media outlets about the situation in July that may have led to the charge against him, Tohti told AP.

“In China, sometimes even if you are just defending human rights, if you say something a little bit extreme, you’ll be in trouble,” Niyazi told AP in July.


04-11-09, 01:42
China holds Uighur journalist over Xinjiang unrest remarks
30 October 2009

Uighur journalist Hairat Niyaz, detained by Chinese authorities since 1 October, faces imminent torture and ill-treatment, Amnesty International warned.

The organization has called on Chinese authorities to release Hairat Niyaz immediately and unconditionally, or charge him with a recognizable criminal offence.

A detention notice delivered by the police to the family of Hairat Niyaz on 4 October, said that he is under investigation for "endangering state security".

Police told Hairat Niyaz's family that he was detained because he gave too may interviews to various media.

Family and Uighur community friends believe his detention is due to his comments about the real cause of the recent unrest in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR).

Hairat Niyaz has argued that the core problems that led to the disturbances are 20 years of discriminatory ethnic policies including using "anti-terrorism" to target Uighurs, marginalization and economic issues.

He warned the local authorities of possible disturbances the day before the unrest erupted in July. His warning was ignored at that time, but was later used to place him under investigation.

As many as 156 people were killed when violence and widespread unrest broke out in Urumqi and in other parts of the XUAR on 5 July. The violence followed a police crackdown on initially peaceful demonstrations in Urumqi by Uighurs.

The demonstrators protested the authorities' initial inaction following the death of two Uighur workers during a violent riot at a factory in southern China (Shaoguan, Guangdong province).

In the aftermath of the violent crackdown, the authorities accused overseas Uighurs, in particular the World Uighur Congress and its President Rebiya Kadeer, of having masterminded the unrest.

Following the July unrest the authorities detained thousands of people.

They are reported to have brought dozens to trial and threatened those involved in the unrest with harsh sentences. This month, the authorities announced the first death sentences for 11 individuals involved in the protests.

The authorities have interpreted all dissent as stemming from "terrorist" or "separatist" activities, justifying their harsh crackdown while ignoring underlying sources of the discontent.

Hairat Niyaz was taken from his home in Urumqi by XUAR internal security police on Chinese National Day.

He has not been able to meet with a lawyer of his choosing or with his family since his detention. He is being held at Tianshan detention centre in Urumqi.

Amnesty International has urged the Chinese authorities to guarantee that Hairat Niyaz is not tortured or otherwise ill-treated while in custody.

The organization has also called on the authorities to ensure that he is given access to a lawyer of his choice, his family and any medical treatment that he may require.

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