Husein Dzhelil, source: UHRPHusein Dzhelil, an ethnic Uighur from the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in northwest China was sentenced to life in prison for “plotting to split the country” and to 10 years in prison for joining a “terrorist organization.” Dzhelil (also known as Huseyin Celil) fled China in the mid-1990’s after he got into trouble with the authorities for advocating for the rights of Uighur. He resettled in Canada as a refugee in 2001 and later became a Canadian citizen. He was detained in Uzbekistan in March 2006 when he was visiting with his wife’s family. He was forcibly returned to China at the end of June. He claimed that he was tortured while in detention in China and he was threatened to sign a document which was displayed as a confession in court.

Amnesty International issued many Urgent Actions since he was detained in Uzbekistan. The series of UA’s started in April 2006 with updates in June, July, twice in August (8/8/06 and 8/11/06), and again in September. There was no news for a few months till early February 2007 when he was tried in court. Canadian government representatives were allowed to visit him while he was detained in Uzbekistan but those visits stopped after he was returned to China. And his request for the presence of Canadian representatives in court was ignored. Canada’s Foreign Minister Peter MacKay is going to visit China next week in which he plans to raise the case to the Chinese officials.

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Update (4-21-2007):