World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers


Gulmire Imin, China, jailed since July 2009

Gulmire Imin, China, jailed since July 2009

Article ID:

17648

Day 21
Country: China
Journalist: Gulmire Imin
Media: Salkin
Jailed since: July 14, 2009

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'30 Days for Freedom' calls for release of Gulmire Imin and all journalists jailed in #China bit.ly/1jCucYH #FreethePress

Release Gulmire Imin and all jailed journalists in #China. Share the '30 Days for Freedom' protest bit.ly/1ia4Pkt #FreethePress

 


In the days following a violent uprising in China's Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, website moderator Gulmire Imin was arrested and sentenced to life in prison on July 14, 2009. Imin was one of several people arrested who worked for the now-defunct Uighur-language web forum, 'Salkin'. More than one year later, Radio Free Asia reported a witness to her trial saying the journalist had been convicted on charges of separatism, leaking state secrets, and organising an illegal demonstration.

Share our protest letter bit.ly/1ia4Pkt

Imin had started working for the website only a few months prior to her arrest. Since 2000, she had held a local government position and on the sidelines wrote poetry and short stories that were published on Salkin. In the spring of 2009, just months before heavy protests erupted in the region, Imin was invited to become a moderator for the site.

Chinese authorities claimed she was one of the organisers of a major demonstration sparked by the deaths of Uighur migrant workers in Guangdong province that took place on July 5, 2009. They also alleged that she used the site to disseminate information in the lead up to the event. The website was consequently shut down and all of its content deleted. Officials also accused her of leaking state secrets over the telephone to her husband, who lives in Norway. However, her husband told the Committee to Protect Journalists that he had called her on the day of the demonstration simply to make sure she was safe. Around 200 people died as the protest turned violent after clashes with Chinese security forces. Hundreds of protesters were arrested and the Internet was shut down for a month in the region.

The Chinese government has long maintained a tight grip on the media to prevent any threat of opposition or subversion – and will deploy almost any means to control the spread of information. From jailing journalists with lengthy sentences to a myriad of ways to censor the Internet and promote self-censorship, China is one of the most unfriendly countries for freedom of expression. In late 2013, 32 journalists remained jailed, with at least 50 percent of them being from ethnic minorities. Over the past year, China has also tightened its grip on the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region amid a series of riots and attacks on police and other symbols of Chinese power.

 

Suggested Tweets:

'30 Days for Freedom' calls for release of Gulmire Imin and all journalists jailed in #China bit.ly/1jCucYH #FreethePress

Release Gulmire Imin and all jailed journalists in #China. Share the '30 Days for Freedom' protest bit.ly/1ia4Pkt #FreethePress

 


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wm_WanIfra

Date

2014-04-23 23:10

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Andrew Heslop

Date

2014-04-03 20:08