Four professors from Xinjiang University, all Uyghurs, were arrested and sent to re-education camps. Azat Sultan was formerly the Vice President of that University and has been charged with “being two-faced” and having “separatist tendencies.” CCS has written the President of China asking for release of all 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 have been sent to “re-education” camps. The professors, all from Xinjiang University in Urumqi, and all are ethnic Uyghurs. Azat Sultan is a former Vice President of that University, and apparently has been accused of being “two faced” with “separatist tendencies”.
As a community of scientists and scholars, we are very concerned that our colleagues continue to be detained in this way. The lack of respect for basic human rights of Uyghur scholars, in what appears to be an assault on their culture, is unconscionable, and undermines the legitimacy of China as a partner in academic and scientific endeavors.
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 to make contributions to knowledge.
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