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15 Years in Prison on Charge of 'Separatism': Tale of Another Uyghur Artiste Hursan Hassan

File photo of Uyghur artiste Hursan Hassan.

File photo of Uyghur artiste Hursan Hassan.

Hassan was detained in December 2018. His family was horrified to learn a few days that he was treated in the emergency room despite being very healthy before his arrest.

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Rushan Abbas

'Millions of civil servants, writers and teachers were fired. Elites and artists were attacked, many intellectuals were labeled 'counter-revolutionaries', beaten or killed, others were sent to 'corrective labor camps'".

The above depiction is a snapshot of what happened in the 'Great Cultural Revolution' initiated by Mao, one of the dictators of recent history, in 1966. The nations that the Chinese Communist dictators occupied such as East Turkistan, Tibet, and Southern Mongolia suffered the greatest damage from the cultural revolution.

In particular, the devotion of these regions to their own language, religion, and traditions was deliberately destroyed by the so-called cultural revolution. Since those days, the persecution of the 'red guards' continues with other paramilitary forces and party policemen, and genocide against Uyghurs.

Knowing that the way to destroy a nation is to destroy its intellectuals first, the Chinese Communist regime is replicating the tyranny on Uyghurs' writers, artists, scholars, and scientists in the same manner as 50 years ago.

The recent sentencing of Hursan Hassan by the regime to 15 years in prison is another example of the brutal Chinese persecution. Hassan, 50, has had an accomplished career as a successful voice actor and short film director, and owns a production company. He is an example of how there is nothing that justifies such harsh sentencing. He was even recognised by the China Film Association and China Federation of Literary and Art Circles in October 2018, just two months before his abduction.

In spite of his law-abiding personal life, and respectable professional career, he was detained in December 2018. Known for his great talent and wonderful sense of humour, his family was horrified to learn that just a few days after his wrongful arrest, he was treated in the emergency room despite being very healthy before his detention.

Hassan is one of the leading intellectuals of the Uyghur community. He has a university education in language, and has won everyone's appreciation with his success. Because of these achievements, he was even appreciated by the Chinese Communist administration. However, the present projection of the 'reeducation or labor camps' of the Mao era, which was considered 'dangerous' and inspired by the Nazis, targets Uyghurs due to not being Chinese in the eyes of the Communist regime.

In 2018, the possession of a Muslim Uyghur identity and the opinion of the CCP leadership in society, automatically resulted in being sent to so-called education camps. The indication of the purpose of the Chinese communist regime to subject the practices of genocide is that an intellectual, who had been accepted to an art education course, was sent to the camp after the course. After staying in the camps for 20 months, Hassan was also accused of a crime concocted by the Chinese regime.

He was sentenced to 15 years in prison on the charge of 'separatism'. The representative of art, one of the most important areas that sustain a society and bring it together, is sent between four walls with a false justification based on supposedly separating society. Hassan, who is appreciated by everyone for his humanitarian side as well as his talent, is among the victims of the Uyghur genocide.

Hassan's relatives living in America learned from his relatives in East Turkistan that he was abducted. His sister, Sayyare Hassan, who is experiencing great fear and anxiety, suddenly lost contact with her brother. When Hassan’s relatives found out that he had been taken, they realised that he was sent to a concentration camp. After his abduction in December 2018, he has not been heard from again. Where he is, whether he is alive or not, what is the state of his health, and similar questions cannot be answered.

Sayyare attributes Hassan's reason for the kidnapping as him being a leading character. After almost 20 months, she received the first news about her brother on September 4, 2020. Hassan is facing a 15-year prison sentence, they learnt. Moreover, Hassan suffers from serious health problems after his detention and before being sentenced to prison. The Chinese Communist State is leaving another family in indescribable suffering.

Sayyare said, “I grew up with my brother and we were very connected. He was one of the most beautiful and kindest people you would ever meet. He had many friends around him. Everyone loved him and he was greatly respected… If I could talk to him again today, I would give everything I have.” Stating that the people of East Turkestan are going through one of the biggest humanitarian crises of the century, Sayyare said, “The world needs to support us to help the Uyghur people to regain our most basic human rights”.

Campaign For Uyghurs (CFU) previously published a PR shortly after Hassan’s sister uploaded a video on social media seeking intervention of the international community, and made a statement regarding the 15-years sentencing of Hassan. She said, “This case is another example of the Chinese Communist Party's establishment of so-called ‘vocational training centers’ and wrongful imprisonment of Uyghur elites. Hursan Hassan is a well-educated, respected, intelligent, successful person who has never needed such training… This is another example of the method of the regime’s systematic denunciation and destruction that innocent Uyghur people have been subjected to by the communist government."

Stating that the Uyghurs, especially Hassan, should never be subjected to such persecution, CFU said, “As the Campaign for Uyghurs, we are with Hursan Hassan's family. We want him to be released as soon as possible without any conditions." The activities of this regime, which perform barbaric, cruel, and evil deeds, should be held accountable by the nations of the world.

Disclaimer:The author is the founder and executive director of Campaign for Uyghurs. Views are personal.


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