Details emerge of Uyghur political detainee suffering torture, abuse

For immediate release
June 5, 2006, 5:15 p.m. EDT
Contact: Uyghur Human Rights Project +1 (202) 349 1496

The Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) has learned from a credible source details of a Uyghur man currently being tortured in a detention center in YiliPrefecture, and who has so far been denied food for three days. The source was extremely concerned for the man’s life.

On Friday June 2, Tudahun Hoshur, a 31-year old trader from GhuljaCity it YiliPrefecture, was suspended from a ceiling by his hands and beaten on his torso. According to UHRP’s source, Mr Hoshur has remained suspended for three days now without food. This treatment is understood to be punishment because Mr Hoshur did not learn by heart all 45 articles of the detention center’s regulations in Chinese – as all detainees are required to do. Mr Hoshur, however, does not speak Chinese.

“We’re extremely concerned about Tudahun, said Alim Seytoff, Director of UHRP. “We regularly receive quite vague reports of people being tortured and abused in East Turkistan, but this time we’re confident of the source. We hope by going public with this information we can at least ensure the abuse stops and perhaps a doctor can examine Tudahun.

Tudahun Hoshur was detained by police on March 22, 2006 on suspicion of “conspiracy to split the state and is being held at the Kosheriq Detention Center in Suydung [Chinese: Shuiding] County, Yili Prefecture in East Turkistan, also known as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

It is not yet publicly known why Mr Hoshur was detained on suspicion of “splittism – an extremely serious offence under Chinese law, punishable in some cases by death. The Chinese authorities in East Turkistan generally perceive any form of Uyghur political opposition to Chinese rule as “splittist and punish it accordingly. For instance, Nurmuhemet Yasin, a writer from Kashgar in the far west of East Turkistan, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2005 having written a short story comparing the plight of Uyghurs in East Turkistan to that of caged birds.

The Chinese authorities admit that torture in detention facilities of every kind remains a “problem throughout the entire PRC. Dr Manfred Nowak, the UN Special Rapporteur on torture concluded after a recent trip to the PRC – which included East Turkistan – that torture remained “widespread . However, the Chinese government later dismissed Dr Nowak’s conclusions.

During his mission to China, Dr Nowak had intended to visit YiliPrefecture – the last destination on his itinerary before returning to Beijing. However, the nature and volume of the work he encountered on the first stages of his mission through China, Tibet and East Turkistan meant he had to cancel the visit to Yili.