Charge: Separatism Sentence: 3-8 years (specific length unknown) Location: Unknown
Akbar Imin came to Beijing in 2002 to attend Central Nationalities (Minzu) University and graduated in 2006. He then worked in the inaugural phase of the Aizhixing Insitute’s Uyghur Migrant Health Education and Rights Protection program, carrying out health education, running the Center’s Uyghur website, and conducting research on the HIV/AIDS epidemic and prevention policy.
In 2009 Imin went to work for the ThinkTank Research Center for Health Development, the only other organization in Beijing dedicated to Uyghur migrants, where he was in charge of the Uyghur Migrant Population Drug Reduction program.
Police in Urumchi detained Akbar Imin in Urumchi on January 15 when he was in the city to attend his father’s funeral. He was sentenced with the group of 6 other students of Ilham Tohti for his work on the Uighurbiz website.
The HIV/AIDS epidemic has ravaged the Uyghur people in East Turkestan for decades, with an inadequate response by the government, coupled with brutal suppression of grassroots efforts to halt the spread of disease, as in the case of Akbar Imin.
The Ghulja massacre in February 1998, in addition to leaving scores of innocent Uyghurs like Abdurazzak Shamseden in prison, also marked the government’s brutal rejection of a grassroots initiative to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS by intravenous drug users. The massacre occurred in response to the meshrep movement, which mobilized Uyghur communities along religious lines to prevent drug usage, which was largely responsible for the spread of HIV/AIDS. UHRP director, Alim Seytoff wrote on the AIDS epidemic for the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute Analyst in 2000.
As scholar Anna Hayes notes in her 2011 paper, almost 40 percent of HIV infections in China occur in the Uyghur region, and 85 percent of individuals affected there are Uyghurs. She cites activists who view the government’s lack of response to HIV/AIDS as “a deliberate program of genocide.” Certainly, the government crackdown on grassroots HIV activism since the disease first came to the region has contributed to the crisis today.
See an Al Jazeera English report on Chinese censorship surrounding HIV/AIDS in inner China. Since Imin’s work in Beijing was focused on providing services and research to benefit Uyghur communities affected by the disease, it involved an even higher degree of sensitivity to the Chinese state.
End of the Road: One Belt, One Road and the Cumulative Economic Marginalization of the Uyghurs, a new research report by the Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP), is an examination of China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) economic initiative from a Uyghur human rights perspective.
The Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) calls on the European Parliament to award Ilham Tohti the 2016 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. Professor Ilham Tohti has been a consistent voice for the equitable treatment of Uyghurs in China and in doing so has made an outstanding contribution to human rights.
The Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) is concerned a new Counter-Terrorism Law adopted by the People's Republic of China (PRC) on December 27, 2015, and effective as of January 1, 2016, is a mandate for the Chinese government to commit human rights violations against the Uyghur people in East Turkestan.
The WUC and UHRP have jointly submitted an alternative report to the United Nations Committee Against Torture (CAT) for consideration during the 56th session of the Committee from November 9 to December 9, 2015 in Geneva, Switzerland.