05/26/2020

Urgent Action: Uyghurs Indicted for Money Transfer (China: UA 86.20)


Mahira Yakub, a Uyghur who worked in an insurance company, was indicted for “giving material support to terrorist activity” in January 2020 for transferring money to her parents in Australia. According to her sister, the money was transferred in June and July 2013 to help her parents buy a house. Mahira Yakub’s aunt and uncle have also been indicted on the same charges and are currently released on bail. Detained since April 2019, and without access to family and legal representation, there are grave concerns for Mahira Yakub’s condition and wellbeing, especially as she suffered from liver damage during a previous detention.

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Deputy Procurator Han Jielong
c/o 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 Deputy Procurator

Dear Deputy Procurator Han,

I am writing to express my concern about Mahira Yakub (玛依拉‧亚库甫), a Uyghur insurance company worker indicted in January 2020 on charges of “giving material support to terrorist activity” (资助恐怖活动罪). The charges relate to a transfer of funds made to her parents in Australia in 2013. According to Mahira Yakub’s sister, the money was intended for their parents to buy a house. No one has seen or spoken to Mahira Yakub since she went missing in April 2019.

I also worry for Mahira Yakub’s aunt and uncle, Gulbekram Memtimin (古勒拜克热木‧麦米提敏) and Qasim Tohti (哈斯木‧托合提), who have been indicted on the same charges. Two of three money transfers were made by her aunt and uncle.

While Gulbekram Memtimin and Qasim Tohti are released on bail, Mahira Yakub is currently detained in Yining Detention Center. Mahira Yakub has not been allowed access to her family and, without legal representation, I am deeply concerned for her condition and wellbeing, especially as she did not receive adequate medical treatment when she suffered from liver damage in a “transformation-through-education” facility from March to December 2018.

I call on you to release Mahira Yakub, unless there is sufficient, credible and admissible evidence that she committed an internationally recognized offense and is granted a fair trial in line with international standards; drop charges against Mahira Yakub, Gulbekram Memtimin and Qasim Tohti or ensure they are granted a fair trial in line with international standards; and allow Mahira Yakub access to her family as well as prompt and adequate medical care, facilitate her right to have effective legal representation of her choice, and ensure she is not subjected to torture and other ill-treatment.

Yours sincerely,

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