Rebiya Kadeer's youngest son 'confesses' to crimes under torture


For immediate release
July 6, 2006, 17:30 EDT
Contact: Uyghur Human Rights Project +1 (202) 349 1496
 
Alim AbdureyimSources close to the Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) have reported that Alim Abdureyim, the youngest son of the human rights activist and former prisoner of conscience Rebiya Kadeer, ‘confessed’ on or around July 1 to criminal and political charges against him as a direct consequence of being tortured.
 
Alim, who was reported on June 25 to have been tortured, is understood to have signed confessions to the charges against him of tax evasion and “attempting to split the state . UHRP is extremely concerned he has been tortured on at least two occasions, and that he may be in need of urgent medical attention.
 
“Our first concern is Alim Abdureyim’s health – is there any permanent damage, will they let a doctor in to see him? said Alim Seytoff, Director of UHRP. “And now that they have what they want – his ‘confession’ – will they stop torturing him?
 
The source added that since ‘confessing’, Alim Abdureyim has been moved to “better conditions in the Tianshan District detention center in Urumchi, the regional capital of East Turkistan (Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region), where he and his two brothers are being held. However, the source was unable to give any details on the extent or nature of any injuries which may have been inflicted on Alim.
 
“It’s going to be extremely difficult for Alim to retract that confession now, continued Mr Seytoff. “There are cases that have gone through the Chinese courts where even the judge has acknowledged the defendant’s confession was extorted through torture, but there’s still a conviction – this is one of the reasons why the conviction rate in Chinese courts is up over 99%.
 
Torture in Chinese places of detention is “widespread , according to a recent report by Dr Manfred Nowak, the UN Special Rapporteur on torture, which was issued after he completed a mission to the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The mission included a visit to Urumchi. Dr Nowak also added that there has been a “consistent and systematic pattern of torture related to ethnic minorities, particularly Tibetans and Uyghurs.
 
No new information is available on the legal status nor the physical well-being of Rebiya Kadeer’s second son Ablikim Abdureyim, who was hospitalized in early June following a severe beating by police which was witnessed by his young children and his nieces and nephews. Ablikim was also charged with tax evasion, and with “attempting to subvert state power .
 
UHRP understands that Kahar, Ms Kadeer’s eldest son, is still being interrogated by police in detention. Kahar is thought to be facing only one charge, that of tax evasion, seemingly escaping the potentially far more serious political charges leveled against his brothers. Meanwhile, Ms Kadeer’s daughter, Rushangul, and younger brother Mamat remain held under a form of house arrest.
 
The same source told UHRP that the Kadeer family businesses in Urumchi have all been closed or ordered to suspend business activities, except for one restaurant, which is intended by the regional authorities to provide enough income for the entire extended family.
 
China’s 1996 Criminal Procedure Law dictates that defendants should be brought to trial within two months of being formally charged. Seeing as the three sons were all formally charged on June 13, it could therefore be expected that they will be tried on or before August 12. However, there are numerous mechanisms in Chinese law which allow for that time period to be ‘legally’ extended.
 
Indeed, it remains to be seen whether the Chinese authorities will choose to abide by Chinese procedural law when prosecuting Ms Rebiya Kadeer’s three sons. Often, in cases with a politically sensitive bearing, such procedural regulations are ignored and suspects can spend extended periods denied the right to family visits and the right to meet with legal representation – sometimes only allowing limited contact post-sentencing.
 
Similarly, although torture is explicitly outlawed under Chinese law and China has ratified key international human rights conventions on the prevention of torture, yet it remains “widespread . The government of the PRC is regularly pressed by sources ranging from the United Nations and Amnesty International to offices within the Chinese government itself to implement mechanisms whereby people who have suffered torture can report the fact and have the allegation independently investigated. To date, however, no measures to address or curb torture in China have been seen to be demonstrably effective.

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