Breaking news: Following detentions, formal charges brought against Ms Kadeer’s sons

For Immediate Release
Contact: Alim A. Seytoff
Phone: 202-321-2388
Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Ablikim AbdiriyimWashington – The Uyghur American Association (UAA) condemns the unlawful arrest of Ms. Rebiya Kadeer\’s three adult children by the Chinese government in strongest terms and demands their immediate release.

“I demand the Chinese government to release immediately my three sons because they are all innocent. The Chinese government has no right to punish them on false charges for my human rights activities in the United States, said Ms. Rebiya Kadeer, president of UAA.

On June 13, the Chinese authorities officially charged Kahar Abdureyim on alleged tax evasion, Ablikim on alleged conspiracy to overthrow the government, and Alim on alleged tax evasion and attempt to divide the country. This is the first time Ms. Kadeer\’s eldest son Kahar has been charged on tax evasion and brought from Aksu to Urumchi handcuffed and chained on a mini-bus by Chinese police. Chinese police delivered arrest warranties to Mamat Kadeer, Ms. Kadeer\’s younger brother in Urumchi, who is also put under house arrest. Currently, Ms. Kadeer\’s daughter Rushangul is still under house arrest. Her grandchildren are not allowed to leave their homes and go to school. Police are present in all of the Kadeer family houses.

Rushangul Abdiriyim,In fact, Ms. Kadeer\’s three adult children – Ablikim, Alim and Rushangul – were initially detained on May 30 to stop them meeting with a U.S. Congressional delegation affiliated to the U.S. Congressional Human Rights Caucus. On June 1, Chinese police told Ms Kadeer\’s three adult children and four grandchildren that they were being taken out of Urumchi for “sightseeing . The grandchildren, between four and 15 years of age, witnessed the police beating Alim and Ablikim halfway to the destination. One of the Chinese policemen gave a mobile phone to Rushangul to call and inform Ms. Kadeer that Alim and Ablikim were being beaten up. Then, police took away the phone as soon as she told Ms. Kadeer what was happening.

The Uyghur Diaspora is extremely concerned with the initial detention and present arrest of Ms. Kadeer\’s adult children. The Uyghur communities and organizations around the world staged large-scale demonstrations against China\’s inhuman treatment of the Kadeer family last Friday. The U.S. government has been consistently raising the harassment of Kadeer family members with the Chinese officials both in Washington and Beijing since May 30. However, the Chinese authorities are determined to continue violating the Kadeer family\’s human rights by arbitrarily detaining and arresting the adult children.

Alim Abdiriyim“By unlawfully detaining and arresting my innocent children, China is once again demonstrating to the world where it stands in terms of human rights and how far it can go when it comes to violating the fundamental human rights of the Uyghur people. By arresting them, China is telling the whole world that it can do anything to any Uyghur at any time for any reason with impunity. Therefore, the international community has to take more concrete steps to pressure China to stop such blatant human rights abuses.

Ms. Rebiya Kadeer\’s family and former business associates have faced almost constant harassment by Chinese police ever since she was first detained in Urumchi in 1999, but particularly since her release and exile to the U.S. and her outspoken criticism of the Chinese government\’s treatment of the Uyghur people. Ms. Kadeer\’s detention in 1999, which then led to her formal arrest and final sentencing on political charges, came when she herself tried to contact a visiting U.S. Congressional delegation. Ms. Kadeer was sentenced to eight years in prison, but released early and immediately flown to the U.S. on March 17, 2005, just days before U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was due to visit Beijing.