Abdulqadir Jalaleddin, a prominent Uyghur writer and scholar who was arrested in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in January has not been seen since that time. It was reported that he was sent to a re-education camp, but there have been no official statements as to his status or whereabouts. CCS has written the President of China requesting that he look into this matter and report Jalaleddin’s status and whereabouts. If he is not being charged with a criminal offense, CCS requested that he be released and allowed to resume his teaching and literary work.
May 20, 2018
The State Council General Office
Xichengqu, Beijingshi 100017
People’s Republic of China
The Committee of Concerned Scientists is an independent organization of scientists, physicians, engineers and scholars devoted to the protection and advancement of human rights and scientific freedom for colleagues all over the world.
We write to express our concerns for Abdulqadir Jalaleddin, a prominent Uyghur writer and scholar who was arrested in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) on January 29, 2018. He is a poet and professor of literature at the Xinjiang Pedagogical University in Urumqi and has not been seen since winter break.
Reportedly, he has been sent to a re-education camp, but there have been no official statements as to his status or whereabouts from the Chinese government. We seek clarification as to his whereabouts and the reasons for his detention. If he is being held because of his academic work, or his literary writings or poetry, he must be released immediately and unconditionally, as peaceful expression is a fundamental human right.
We are deeply concerned for the physical well-being of Abdulqadir Jalaleddin, as the use of incommunicado detention often results in torture or ill-treatment of prisoners. In February 2016, the UN Committee Against Torture concluded that “torture and ill-treatment is still deeply entrenched in the criminal justice system” of China.
As a signer to the UN Convention Against Torture, and a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, your government has committed to protect prisoners from such abuse and to refrain from detentions of those who choose to exercise their right to free expression.
A country such as China that seeks to fully engage in scholarly collaborations, must demonstrate a greater respect for the rule of law and for human rights and treaty obligations. The disappearance of Abdulqadir Jalaleddin into apparent incommunicado detention represents an unacceptable assault on human rights.
As his colleagues and fellow scholars, we urge you to seek and provide to us information on the whereabouts and legal status of Abdulqadir Jalaleddin, and unless he is charged with a legitimate criminal offense, see that he is released and allowed to resume his teaching and literary work in Urumqi.
We thank you for your attention to this most serious matter, and we look forward to receiving your response.
Joel L. Lebowitz, Paul H. Plotz, Walter Reich, Eugene M. Chudnovsky, Alexander Greer
Co-Chairs, Committee of Concerned Scientists
Zhao Kezhi Buzhang
Minister of Public Security
Dongchengqu, Beijingshi 100741
People’s Republic of China
Tel: +86 10 66262114