Literature Professors Azat Sultan, Abdukerim Rahman and Gheyretjan Osman, along with Arslan Abdulla, a language professor at Xinjiang University in Urumqi (all members of the ethnic Uyghur community) were reportedly detained and sent to “re-education camps.” Sultan, was previously the former Vice President of Xinjiang University and has been accused of being “two-faced” with “separatist tendencies.” CCS has written to the President of China expressing concern that this appears to be part of a campaign of massive detention and re-education that is impacting thousands of Uyghurs with special focus on educators and scholars. A practice such as this would amount to ethnic cleansing. CCS urges the release of these four educators along with other Uyghur scholars who have been unjustly detained and subjected to re-education.
His Excellency Xi Jinping
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 concern over the arrests of literature professors Azat Sultan, Abdukerim Rahman, and Gheyretjan Osman, and language professor Arslan Abdulla – all of whom, according to reports, have been sent to “re-education” camps. The professors are all from Xinjiang University in Urumqi, and all are ethnic Uyghurs. Azat Sultan is a former Vice President of that University, and has been accused of being “two faced” with “separatist tendencies”.
These arrests appear to be part of a campaign of massive detention and “re-education” that has impacted thousands of Uyghurs, with a particular focus on educators and scholars. This may amount to ethnic cleansing. According to the estimate by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination that over one million Uyghurs, or roughly 10 percent of the entire Uyghur population in the Xinjiang region, have been sent for “re-education”.
We urge you to release Azat Sultan, Abdukerim Rahman, Gheyretjan Osman, and Arslan Abdulla immediately and unconditionally, along with all other Uyghur scholars who have been unjustly detained and subjected to “re-education”. We urge you to instead protect the rights of Uyghur scholars and allow them to pursue their academic work without interference.
Thank you for your attention to this extremely 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
Ambassador Cui Tiankai,
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
3505 International Place, NW
Washington, DC 20008
Phone: 202 495 2266 I Fax: 202 495 2138