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Uyghur university lecturer serving 10-year sentence in China's Xinjiang

Just Earth News

March 09, 2022

Representational photo from Pixabay

Xinjiang, China: A Uyghur professor and translator is currently serving 10 years in prison in northwestern China’s Xinjiang region for separatism and promoting Western culture, media reports said on Wednesday.

Nurmemet Omer Uchqun, a literature teacher at the School of Philology at Xinjiang Normal University, was sentenced for “marginalizing national culture” and “attempting to split the country,” through his writings and translations, said Husenjan, his former classmate who now lives in Norway, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported.

Uchqun had been detained by police in Xinjiang’s capital Urumqi (in Chinese, Wulumuqi) in 2017 and later handed over to authorities in Hotan (Hetian) prefecture and transferred to Keriye Prison in Keriye (Yutian) county, after he had been sentenced to 10 years, Husenjan, who got the information from sources inside China, told RFA. “My source in China told me in early 2019 that Nurmemet Omer Uchqun was ‘sick and being checked at the hospital,’ which means that he was arrested and being investigated,” Husenjan said.

“Recently, through [another] source, I learned that Nurmemet was sentenced to 10 years,” he said. “I heard that in 2017 he was interrogated by police about his writing and translation work.”

RFA confirmed two years ago that Uchqun had been arrested but was unable to verify if he had been sentenced.

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