Urgent Action: Uyghur Jailed for 15 Years in Secret Trial (China: UA 79.20)

May 13, 2020

Ekpar Asat, a Uyghur entrepreneur and philanthropist, was convicted in a secret trial on charges of “inciting ethnic hatred and ethnic discrimination” and sentenced to 15 years in prison. He went missing in April 2016, after returning to Xinjiang from attending a US State Department leadership training program. No contact has been made with him for more than four years and, without official information about his whereabouts, there are grave concerns for Ekpar Asat’s condition and wellbeing.



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President of the People’s Republic of China
Xi Jinping
Xichangan’jie Xichengqu, Beijing Shi 100017
People’s Republic of China
Fax: +86 10 6238 1025
Email: [email protected]
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 President Xi,

I am writing to express my concern about Uyghur entrepreneur and philanthropist Ekpar Asat (伊克帕·阿萨特), who was convicted in a secret trial on charges of “inciting ethnic hatred and ethnic discrimination” (煽动民族仇恨、民族歧视) and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Ekpar Asat went missing in April 2016 three weeks after returning to Xinjiang from the United States, where he had just attended the International Visitors Leadership Program organized by the US State Department.

It has now been four years since anyone has seen Ekpar Asat, with no information about his whereabouts, condition or the evidence against him having been made public. In fact, it was only through communications between the Chinese authorities and a few US senators in December 2019 and January 2020 that his sister found out about his sentencing. It is distressing to learn that the authorities have provided no further details about his case.

I am deeply concerned about reports that the trial was conducted in secret and that Ekpar Asat was not allowed access to a lawyer of his choice. I call on you to release Ekpar Asat immediately and unconditionally, unless there is sufficient, credible and admissible evidence that he committed an internationally recognized offense and is granted a fair trial in line with international standards; and pending his release, disclose Ekpar Asat’s whereabouts, allow him access to his family and a lawyer of his choice, and ensure he is not subjected to torture and other ill-treatment.

Yours sincerely,