Uyghur Human Rights Project urges concerned governments to call for the immediate and unconditional release of Patigul Ghulam

Press Release by the Uyghur Human Rights Project

For immediate release
April 4, 2016 10:45am EST
Contact: Uyghur Human Rights Project +1 (202) 478 1920

The Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) is extremely concerned about the pending trial of Patigul Ghulam and urges concerned governments and human rights organizations to call on China for her immediate and unconditional release.

Citing a source close to Patigul’s family, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported the trial is scheduled for April 7, 2016. According to the March 30, 2016 RFA article, Patigul has been charged with leaking state secrets for discussing her son’s case with overseas media.

Patigul Ghulam has faced continued harassment from Chinese officials in her determination to discover the fate of her son, Imammemet Eli, who was forcibly disappeared in the days following unrest in Urumchi on July 5, 2009.

UHRP believes the upcoming trial of Patigul Ghulam is not only an attempt to end her search for Imammemet Eli, but also a measure designed to intimidate other Uyghurs seeking answers about loved ones disappeared after the 2009 unrest.

“The trial of Patigul Ghulam on charges of leaking state secrets is a clear case of state persecution of a defenseless individual. All she is guilty of is attempting to find out what happened to her son after Chinese police arrested him in 2009. In accordance with international human rights standards, Patigul should have been informed as to the whereabouts of Imammemet immediately after his detention. However, she now stands to lose her liberty because the Chinese authorities are covering up a gross violation of human rights,” said UHRP Director Alim Seytoff.

Mr. Seytoff added: “The charge Patigul faces is indicative of the Chinese government’s destructive approach to the welfare of the Uyghur people. It appears the repressive conditions under which Uyghurs live is a state secret that cannot be opposed peacefully or revealed to the outside world. This approach tells Uyghurs to keep quiet while the state implements policies that do not reflect their interests. The international community should call for Chinese authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Patigul from detention and provide information regarding her son's situation.”

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