Urgent Action Update: Detained Uighur Has Nervous Breakdown (China: UA 46.18)
March 20, 2019
Hankezi Zikeli is detained in a “transformation-through-education” centre in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR) and is believed to have suffered a nervous breakdown. An aunt of Gulchehra Hoja, a Washington based journalist, Hankezi Zikeli is one of 25 relatives who have been detained since January 2018. Without any access to a lawyer, there are grave fears that they are at risk of torture or other ill-treatment.
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Chen Quanguo Party Secretary of the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region 479 Zhongshan Lu Wulumuqi Shi, Xinjiang People’s Republic of China
Ambassador Cui Tiankai Embassy of the People’s Republic of China 3505 International Place NW, Washington DC 20008 Phone: 202 495 2266 I Fax: 202 495 2138 Email: [email protected] Salutation: Dear Ambassador
Dear Secretary Chen,
Hankezi Zikeli, 64, has suffered a nervous breakdown after having been detained in a “transformation-through-education” centre in Urumqi since February 2018. She is an aunt of Gulchehra Hoja, a Washington-based Radio Free Asia Uyghur Service journalist, and one of her 25 relatives who have been detained now for more than one year.
According to a relative in the XUAR, who was told by a local police officer, Hankezi Zikeli has not spoken for several months and spends her day staring at the ceiling.
Gulchehra Hoja learned in early 2018 that her relatives had all been detained in “transformation-through-education” centres in Urumqi and Yili in the XUAR after being linked to a WeChat group with her. Other than this distressing news about her aunt, Hankezi Zikeli, Gulchehra Hoja has had no updates about the situation of her brother Kaiser Keyum and other relatives.
Therefore, I call on you to immediately and unconditionally release Hankezi Zikeli, along with all Gulchehra Hoja’s other relatives, unless there is sufficient credible and admissible evidence that they have committed an internationally recognized offense and are granted a fair trial in line with international standards; ensure that Hankezi Zikeli and Gulchehra Hoja’s other relatives are not subjected to any torture or other ill-treatment and have regular and unrestricted access to a lawyer of their choice and are able to communicate with family members and others, including with family members living in other countries, without interference unless justified in line with international human rights law.