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


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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“12-dékabir oqoghuchilar herkiti” de ziyankeshlikke uchurighan bir Uyghur yashning kechurmishi

(1985- yili urumchide yuzbergen 12-dékabir oqughuchilar herkitining 28 yilliqigha béghishlaymen)

Aptori: Rozinisa (musteqil tetqiqatchi)

Photo of Aziz Isa Elkun © www.azizisa.org

Photo of Aziz Isa Elkun © www.azizisa.org

Waqit – u herqanche aldirangghu bolsimu, tarixni arqisigha yanduralmaydu. Belki tarix ene shu aldirangghu waqitni oz quchiqida elley étip, pepilep hayatning büyük karwanlar topi bilen bille uni upuqning u teripidiki köz yetküsiz nishan’gha qarap oz ritimida élip méngiwéridu…. Siz we biz bu hayatliqta eynen shu karwanlar sepige qoshulghan bir yoluchidinla ibaret, xalas!

Eger siz tarixni yaratqan bolsingiz we u tarix peqet chin bolsila, meyli aridin 28 yil ötsun yaki yüz yillar ötsun, shu yaratqiningiz xelqingizning bexti, sa’aditi we arzu-armanlirini meqset qilghanla bolsa, u xelqingizning qelbide ebediy ebetke renggi öngmeydighan tarixiy xatire bolup saqlinip qéliwéridu…Chünki tarixning her bir bétini insanlar japaliq küreshler bedilige yaratidighanliqidin ibaret bu heqiqetni taki bügünki kün’ge qeder héch bir insan inkar qilalighini yoq.

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The true story of a Uyghur youth who was a victim of the “12 December Student Protest” in Urumchi

(To mark the 28th  anniversary of the “12 December Student Protest” in 1985, Urumchi, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China)

(independent scholar)
Translated into English by Ayshemgul Nuremet

Photo of Aziz Isa Elkun © www.azizisa.org

Photo of Aziz Isa Elkun © www.azizisa.org

Part one

The clock always ticks ahead in busy times, and it can never be turned back. The past time or what we call history, always takes this busy time and adds us to its great caravan, embracing us, and carrying us across the desert among all the others towards the endless life journey which is located on the far horizon. We are all a sort of traveller and we travel towards our goals, we all have to go on that journey and no one is exceptional.

 Although 28 years have already passed since the protest happened, its memory is still fresh and alive. If you have made history in your lifetime and if its aim was to realise your people’s desire for freedom and liberation, that true history will live among your people’s hearts forever and it will become an unforgettable memory for future generations because no-one can deny that every page of the history of humankind is made by the life and death struggle to live in this world.

Inequality, racial discrimination and injustice were become widespread issues, and the state abused its power at this critical moment, on 12 December, 1985, when several thousand Uyghur students in Urumchi and other cities marched to demand from the Chinese authorities an end to their unequal policies in East Turkistan (Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China). The protest, which happened for the very first time 10 years after the Chinese Cultural Revolution, gathered ideological momentum for a democratic Uyghur student movement in the region. Although this protest movement was gradually suppressed, it inspired many Uyghur youths to dedicate their youth to the movement, and they become Uyghur rights campaigners. This is the true story of Aziz Isa, one of the followers of that student protest movement. It tells us how he become victimised, and his subsequent life story as a refugee. The example of Aziz Isa’s early troubled life experience which is connected to the “12 December Student Protest” in East Turkistan (Xinjiang) should lead us to reflect on what happened there at that time and what is happening there now.

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