By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service
XINJIANG, CHINA (ANS) — Alimujiang Yimiti is a Uyghur Christian prisoner who has been arbitrarily detained at Kashi Municipal Detention center since January 12, 2008, charged with “revealing state secrets or intelligence to overseas organizations.”
According to ChinaAid (www.chinaaid.org ) his trial date has been set for tomorrow (Tuesday, July 28).
ChinaAid contacts say the reason for his imprisonment is his Christian faith and witness among the Uyghur people. The group says the international community is monitoring Alimujiang’s case closely.
In a media release, ChinaAid says that the UK government, the European Commission, the European Union, the UN, the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Beijing are closely involved in multilateral and bilateral human rights dialogues urging China to act according to international human rights laws that China has signed.
The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has investigated Alimujiang’s case, and issued Opinion No. 29/2008 on September 12, 2008, stating that Alimujiang Yimiti’s detention for more than one year is arbitrary and that the Chinese government should take the necessary steps to correct the situation.
ChinaAid says it has been in communication with those close to the case.
The group says that according to sources, Alimujiang’s wife Guli Nuer was notified on July 14 by the court in Kashgar that the trial for her husband would be held on the morning of July 28.
On July 23 (Beijing time) Guli Nuer and their two children traveled to Kashgar in order to attend the trial. However, authorities informed her that neither she nor Alimujiang’s mother will be allowed to attend the trial, which will be held at the Intermediate People’s Court of Kashgar.
ChinaAid says the only ones permitted to attend the trial are two attorneys who are representing Alimujiang Yimiti, Li Dunyong and Liang Xiaojun.
According to ChinaAid contacts, Guli Nuer was warned by the Xinjiang People’s Procuratorate (Gaoji Jiancha Yuan) in Urumqi that she should not have become involved advocating and speaking out about her husband’s case. Officials also told her that Alimjiang will not be released without charges.
ChinaAid president Bob Fu said: “Alimujiang is an innocent, law-abiding citizen. He has been a peacemaker between Han Chinese and Uyghurs. He has even been sending his children intentionally to study Mandarin in school, even though they are Uyghurs, in order encourage them to be peacemakers.
“The recent violent riots in Xinjiang have shown that there is a great need for stability in the region. The Chinese Christians, including the Uyghur Christians in Xinjiang, have never been involved in violent activities in Xinjiang. The Chinese government should show they are seeking stability by releasing Alimujiang Yimiti.”
ChinaAid also says that another Uyghur Christian, Mr. Wusiman Yiming is also in prison in Xinjiang. He was sentenced to two years of re-education through labor in September 2007 for “revealing state secrets” and “illegal proselytizing.”
Sources say that the real reason he was sentenced was because of his boldness as a Christian and a leader in the Uyghur church. Sources report that he has aged dramatically in the labor camp and his health is deteriorating due to harsh conditions.
Bob Fu stated: “We call upon the Chinese government to immediately release Alimujiang Yimiti and Wusiman Yiming, and bring justice to their illegal detentions which are in violation of both international law and China’s own criminal law code.”
Concerned believers are asked to contact the following Chinese government offices and the Chinese embassy to express your concern for Alimujiang Yimiti and Wusiman Yiming. The Xinjiang offices are generally open 9 a.m. — 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. — 6 p.m. local time in China.
Xinjiang Government Leadership Office Tel./Fax: +86- 991-280-3226
Xinjiang Government Law Management Office Tel./Fax: +86-991-235-6033
Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong
3505 International Place, NW, Washington, D.C. 20008
Tel: (202) 495-2000
Fax: (202) 588-9760
If you are a citizen of another country, please click below to find the contact information of the Chinese embassy in your own nation: www.fmprc.gov.cn/eng/wjb/zwjg/2490
Please contact: Katherine@ChinaAid.org with questions or requests for further information.