China Sentences Uyghur Journalists For ‘Crimes’ Of Free Speech

A bulletin just received from colleagues at the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reports that three Uyghur-language website managers were (Friday July 30th) given prison terms of three to ten years having been determined ‘guilty’ of what the communist Chinese regime laughingly called “endangering state security.” The three had been imprisoned following demonstrations against Chinese occupation in East Turkestan’s capital city Urumchi in July 2009.

According to the CPJ bulletin: “Nijat Azat, who managed the website Shabnam, was sentenced to a 10-year prison term; Dilixiati Paerhati, whose ran the website Diyarim, was given a five-year term; and the webmaster of Salkin, who goes by the single name Nureli, was sentenced to three years. The sites, all of which have been shut down by the government, had run news articles and discussion groups concerning Uighur issues. In its coverage, The New York Times cited friends and family members of the men as saying they were prosecuted for failing to quickly delete content that openly discussed the difficulties of life in Xinjiang (Editors note: more correctly termed occupied East Turkestan) and, in one case, for allowing users to post messages publicizing the protests that turned violent in July 2009.“

Thanks to CPJ for the information

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