Posts in "Articles"

Response to the Chinese Global Times & CGTN

Aziz Isa Elkun
Research affiliate, SOAS, University of London
ai18@soas.ac.uk  |  www.azizisa.org/en

After my recent interview with CNN about the destruction of my father’s tomb, Chinese Global Times and China Global Television Network specifically responded spreading fault information about the destruction of my father’s tomb by forcing my 78 years old mother to give an interview. The GT and CGTN claim that they respect Uyghur and other Muslim nationalities graveyards and burial traditions in East Turkistan (Xinjiang), but the claims made about me in the article are not correct.

They said: “Aziz Isa Elkun claimed he could not find his father’s grave, which was located in Xayar county in Aksu Prefecture, from a satellite image on Google. However, instead of checking with his family in Xinjiang, the Uygur poet opted to tell the media of his discovery.”

Let me clarify this:

My father worked for 40 years as a medical doctor for Shayar County, Toyboldi town hospital. He died on 4th November 2017. I heard about his death four days later through a friend. Soon before the end of 2017, all my telephone communication with my mother was cut off. I had no news about my mother and other relatives from our village for more than two years, when I learned from friends living outside the region that my mother was alive and that my sister had been detained in an interment camp for more than a year and a half. I still have no news of my other relatives. Thanks to this Global Times TV Network report I have now heard my mother’s voice for the first time since February 2017.

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Uyghur desperation at home and in exile

Aziz Isa Elkun
Research affiliate, SOAS, University of London


In our world, when prehistoric humans had their first conscious of their humanity, they have understood how important it’s to protect their own interests against others. Since then, human history has been filled with periodic wars against each other and it caused great tragedies. Until today, many nations in the in world have suffered some forms of tragedy that caused by humans own wars. In the digital world of the 21st century, the Uyghur tragedy is none of the example and not exceptional.

Particularly beginning in this century, countries have found useful methods to peruse their interests with the tool of nationalism. The nationalism is about people, land and the relationship between them. Nationalistic propaganda seeks to define a special relationship between a unique people and a particular piece of the earth’s land.

Under the current policies being pursued by Chinese president Xi Jinping since 2016, millions of Uyghurs are suffering inhuman treatment in the internment camps within the Uyghur region, but Uyghurs in exile are also suffering because China has effectively cut off all communication between Uyghurs at home and abroad.

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Let’s write for freedom, let the “Wild pigeon” go free!

“Nurmemet

Aziz Isa Elkun
(Secretary of International PEN Uyghur Centre)

ئەركىنلىك ئۈچۈن يازايلى، «ياۋا كەپتەر» ئەركىن پەرۋاز قىلسۇن

* My speech at “The First International Conference of Four-PEN Platform” held in Malmö City hall in Sweden on 28 August 2017.

Dear ladies and gentlemen, friends and colleagues of the PEN, I am honoured to be here to speak on behalf of the Uyghur PEN Center and for the Uyghur people who are almost entirely denied freedom of expression by China in this digital era of the 21st century !

As we are writers, translators and intellectuals in many artistic and cultural fields gathered here to find common ground – the slogan ‘no enemies, no hatred’ is easily said, but in the current reality for Uyghurs in their homeland of East Turkestan (also known as Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region), who are now suffering from unprecedented oppression and lack of rights, this is a hard goal to achieve. But the hate that separates us from each other – which may be based on race, religion or gender or other types of discrimination – will fail, because that hate is artificially bred by governments or other power holders to achieve their aims. The history of humanity always reminds us that tolerance and forgiveness are the only remedies that can achieve peace and prosperity for all of us in the global village.

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