August 31, 2020
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 Aygul Eli, a graduate of the University of Nanjing. After her 2009 graduation, she worked towards a Master’s degree in Finance and Management at Ankara Gazi University in Turkey, where she performed a comparative analysis of the electronic banking systems of China and Turkey. She successfully completed her studies and obtained her Masters in 2016. After returning home to China, she was detained in July 2017 and has since apparently been sentenced to 20 years in prison.
The reason for her detention and subsequent sentencing to such a lengthy prison term are completely unclear, though her treatment fits into the larger pattern of massive repression against Uyghur scholars and academics in which your government has been engaged for several years.
As a global coalition of scientists and scholars, we seek clarification as to the reasons our fellow scholar Aygul Eli has been so treated, and if she has not been charged with a legitimate criminal offense, we demand that she be released immediately and unconditionally, and that, when released, she not be a target of the kind of intensive surveillance to which so many Uyghur scholars have been subjected.
The large-scale and widespread injustices your government continues to inflict on Uyghur scholars have placed China’s reputation as a global scientific leader in serious jeopardy. Scholars like Aygul Eli are our colleagues, and the way she and so many others have been treated is intolerable and unacceptable.
We urge you to reverse this profoundly destructive policy, and to see to it that Aygul Eli and others like her are released without delay, and allowed to continue their scholarly work without interference or intimidation of any kind.
Thank you for your attention to this most important matter, and we look forward to hearing what you are doing to correct this injustice.
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: 1 (202) 495-2266
Fax: 1 (202) 495-2138
Email: [email protected] OR [email protected]