I am writing again regarding the harassment and detention of Rebiya Kadeer’s nine children and grandchildren. A little over a week ago, I posted a letter action to be sent to Chinese/Xinjiang government officials that I had prepared by Amnesty International’s Urgent Action Alert.

Below is another letter action for people to send to their U.S. Senators and U.S. Congressional reps. Again, I adapted the AI Urgent Action Alert and added some other information to it. Please mail, fax, and/or e-mail it to your U.S. Senators and U.S. Congressional Representative. Your state has two U.S. Senators and the district in which you live has one U.S. Congressional Rep. To find out who your Congressional Rep is, go to http://www.house.gov and towards the top of the page there is a link that says “Find Your Representative.” All you have to do is enter your five-digit ZIP Code and the four-digit extension. If you don’t know the four-digit extension, just enter your five-digit ZIP Code and you’ll be directed to a page that has a link to the United States Postal Service website page where you can find out what the four-digit extension is by entering your full address.

If you don’t know the names of your state’s two U.S. Senators, go to http://www.senate.gov and in the top righthand corner of the page there is a link that says “Find Your Senator”. Just click on the down arrow, find your state, click on your state, click on “Go”, and you’ll be given the names and contact information for your state’s two U.S. Senators. Good luck and thanks so much.

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Dear _______:

I am writing to ask you to please use your influence to put pressure on the central government of China, as well as the regional government of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) of China, to immediately release nine of the children and grandchildren of famous Uyghur businesswoman and human rights activist, Rebiya Kadeer. Their names are Ablikim Abdiriyim (male, aged 32), Alim Abdiriyim (male, aged 30), Rushangul Abdiriyim (female, aged 36), Kaysar (male, aged approximately 38), Rayila (female, aged 24), Razia (female, aged 15), Sardar Kaysar (male, aged 9), Epar Alim (female, aged 4), and Turghun (male, aged 8).

To provide some background on Rebiya Kadeer (mother/grandmother to the individuals listed above), Ms. Kadeer came to the United States last year upon being released on medical parole by the Chinese government after being a prisoner of conscience in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) for more than five and a half years. The United States government had lobbied for Ms. Kadeer’s release. Since coming to the United States, Ms. Kadeer has spoken out against the Chinese government’s egregious violations of her people’s human rights. Most recently, over Memorial Day weekend, she was elected President of the Uyghur American Association (UAA), which is an eight-year old organization based in Washington, DC that works to protect the human rights of the Uyghur people and receives funding from the National Endowment for Democracy for its Uyghur Human Rights Project.

The Chinese government has been retaliating against Ms. Kadeer for her peaceful, lawful political activities here in the United States by targeting her family members in Xinjiang, including detaining them on several occasions and subjecting them to police harassment. In fact, Ms. Kadeer has stated that prior to her release, she was warned that if she engaged with Uyghurs or spoke publicly about “sensitive issues” after her release, her children as well as her business in Xinjiang would be finished. The Xinjiang authorities have been carrying out this threat.

The above-named children and grandchildren of Rebiya Kadeer were detained without cause by the Xinjiang police on or around the evening of May 29, 2006 in Urumqi, the regional capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

After three of the individuals listed above -- Ablikim, Alim and Rushangul Abdiriyim, who are adult children of Rebiya Kadeer – were detained by the police on the evening of May 29th, they were forcibly taken to a camp site called Nansan outside Urumqi where Ablikim Abdiriyim and Alim Abdiriyim were severely beaten by police officers. Ablikim lost consciousness and was taken to a hospital for medical attention. The three siblings reportedly remain in police custody, although their whereabouts and state of health are unclear.

The other six individuals, who include four children (one as young as four years old), were detained by police in Urumqi at approximately the same time and their whereabouts are also unclear. According to the Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP), one of Rebiya Kadeer’s grandchildren was reportedly able to telephone her on the morning of June 1st. She said that she was frightened by the presence of seven police officers in her home and asked Rebiya Kadeer to ”rescue her”.

I am very concerned that these individuals may be subjected to further torture and ill treatment. Please ask that the Xinjiang authorities immediately disclose the whereabouts of all nine of these individuals and release them immediately from police detention. It appears that the only reasons these individuals were detained in the first place were: to prevent them from meeting with a United States Congressional Team affiliated with the US Congressional Human Rights Caucus, which was visiting the XUAR at the invitation of the Chinese authorities; and again to retaliate against their mother and grandmother, Rebiya Kadeer, for her peaceful and lawful political activities in the United States. As stated above, the detention of these adults and children, and the beating of brothers Ablikim Abdiriyim and Alim Abdiriyim, are a continuation of the Xinjiang authorities’ severe harassment of Rebiya Kadeer’s family members.