Urgent Action Update: UYGHUR HELD IN SOLITARY CONFINEMENT FOR 2 YEARS (China: UA 79.20)
April 26, 2021
Uyghur tech entrepreneur Ekpar Asat has been held in solitary confinement since January 2019, according to information shared with his family. It is believed that his prolonged isolation, malnutrition and lack of access to proper medical care has caused his health to dramatically deteriorate. Convicted without any known trial on charges of “inciting ethnic hatred and ethnic discrimination” and sentenced to 15 years in prison, there are grave concerns for Ekpar Asat’s condition and wellbeing.
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Director Wang Jiang
Prison Administration Bureau of
Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
No 380, Huanghe lu, Urumqi
830000, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
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 / Fax: 202 495 2138
Email: [email protected]
Salutation: Dear Ambassador
Dear Director Wang:
I am writing to express my grave concern for Uyghur tech entrepreneur Ekpar Asat (艾克拜尔·艾赛提), who I understand has been held in solitary confinement since he was moved to a prison in Aksu Prefecture in January 2019.
During the first video conversation with his family since his detention, in January 2021, Ekpar Asat was seen to have lost a lot of weight and looked pale with black spots on his face. As he continues to suffer from a lack of sunlight exposure and malnutrition, it is feared that Ekpar Asat’s health will deteriorate further without access to proper medical care.
According to international human rights laws and standards, solitary confinement shall be used only in exceptional cases as a last resort, for as short a time as possible and subject to independent review, and only pursuant to the authorization by a competent authority.
Prolonged solitary confinement, particularly when combined with isolation from the outside world, may violate the prohibition against torture and other ill-treatment and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
I therefore call on you to:
Ensure that, while detained, Ekpar Asat is treated in full accordance with the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules), and specifically does not subject him to torture or other ill-treatment, including poor conditions of detention, inadequate food and health care and prolonged solitary confinement;
Ensure Ekpar Asat has regular, unrestricted access to a lawyer of his choice and his family;
Release Ekpar Asat unless there is sufficient, credible and admissible evidence that he committed an internationally recognized offence and is granted a fair trial in line with international standards.