Nurmuhemmet Yasin is an award-winning freelance Uighur writer. He is known for his numerous short stories, essays, and three volumes of poetry: First Love, Crying From the Heart and Come on Children. Some of his work has already been selected for inclusion in Uighur-language middle-school literature textbooks. His current short story Wild Pigeon, Yawa Kepter was broadcast through Radio Free Asia's Uighur Service and has been translated into English. Yasin, aged 31, is married with two sons.
"Wild Pigeon" is the allegorical story of the son of a pigeon king who is trapped and caged by humans while on a mission to find a new home for his flock. He eventually commits suicide by eating a poisoned strawberry rather than sacrifice his freedom. The poisons from the strawberry flow through me,%u201D the unnamed pigeon remarks to himself at the end. Now, finally, I can die freely. I feel as if my soul is on fire soaring and free.chinese oppressors consider the story to be a criticism of their government's presence in East Turkestan, 'xinjiang'. After a closed trial in February 2005 at which he was denied a lawyer, Yasin was sentenced by the Maralbesh Country Court to 10 years in prison. Korash Huseyin, the editor of the Kashgar Literary Journal, was sentenced to three years in prison for publishing "Wild Pigeon."
Upon appeal, the Kashgar Intermediate Court upheld the 10-year sentence; on May 19, 2005 Yasin was transferred to Urumqi No. 1 Prison where he currently remains detained. He has been denied all visitors since his arrest. However, it appears that Yasin has remained active on the internet, occasionally posting on Uighur-language message boards like Meshrep. On May 23, 2006, Radio Free Asia translated and published online an essay he wrote, entitled What is Love which had been written before his imprisonment.
Uighurs under chinese communist totalitarian terror tyranny suffer discrimination in a range of ways, both official and unofficial. They are subject to:
1 Land seizures, with property given to han chinese immigrants;
2 Gradual destruction of their education system, with Uighur-language teaching abolished at university level;
3 Denial of religious freedom, with attendance at mosque forbidden for those employed by the State, and Uighur youth expelled from schools for attempting to pray during the school day;
4 Economic discrimination, with Uighur famers' average annual income of less than US$130 and their region excluded from agricultural market reforms. Though State development plans are targetted at Xinjiang, Uighurs see few of the economic benefits themselves;
5 The 'Hashar' forced labour system, requiring one member of each Uighur family to work several times a year on a farm without pay, or face fines;
6 Discriminatory birth control policies: In theory, ethnic minorities in rural china should be allowed three children, but in practice are never allowed more than two. Birth control is seen by some Uighurs as a form of slow demographic genocide, as Uighur women claim that they have been subjected to forced sterilisation and other more brutal interventions (late stage abortions, for example) to reduce the size of the Uighur population.
7 Since June 2006, the chinese have operated a policy to forcibly transfer a large number of young, rural Uighur girls to eastern china, in the name of finding them urban employment. It is further claimed that these girls are then paid less in factories than the local Han chinese workers and are made to work in unfair, unhealthy conditions.
8 On 2 February 2007, it was reported that at the meeting of the 'Reducing Poverty Office' of East Turkestan it was decided to relocate 400,000 poor Uighur farmers to eastern china over the next five years, whether or not they wish to go.
9 Disproportionate representation of Uighurs among the prisons and labour camps of Xinjiang;
10 Disproportionate suffering from the environmental degradation of the region (as the majority are rural farmers) and from the AIDS epidemic (85% of those with AIDS in East Turkestan are Uighur). Uighurs claim that suppression of their previously strong education system has exacerbated these and other social problems.
In February 1997, a peaceful protest by Uighurs in Gulja city of the Ili valley was brutally crushed by the chinese army. The city was sealed off for two weeks and thousands of Uighurs were arrested. There were reports of torture and summary executions
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