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Uyghur Businessman Remains Jailed Eight Months After ‘Terrorism’ Conviction Reversed on Appeal

Abdujelil Hajim (second from right) stands with fellow officials from the Kashgar Prefectural Trade Association, in a file photo~Photo courtesy of an RFA listener

One of the wealthiest Uyghur businessmen in Kashgar (in Chinese, Kashi) city, in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), remains jailed in poor health more than eight months after his conviction on charges of “terrorism” was overturned on appeal, according to court documents.

In January last year, RFA’s Uyghur Service learned that authorities had arrested Abdujelil Hajim—the 52-year-old chairman of the Kashgar Prefectural Trade Association and head of goods transport firm Xinjiang Helil International Business LLC—along with leading Uyghur entrepreneurs Gheni Haji, Memet Tursun Haji, and Imin Hajim in May 2017 for acts of “religious extremism.”

Sources told RFA at the time that the four men, whose last names signify that they have made the Muslim holy pilgrimage to Mecca, were later sentenced to a total of 42 years in prison.

Official documents recently obtained by RFA from a U.S.-based family friend, who asked to remain anonymous, confirm that the Kashgar Intermediate Court sentenced Hajim to 14 years in prison, fined his company 5 million yuan (U.S. $707,500), and confiscated assets worth 73 million yuan (U.S. $10.3 million) for “providing material support for terrorist activities” on May 18, 2017—12 days after his arrest.

A second hearing related to the case was held at the same court on July 28, 2018, according to the documents, although the reason is unclear.

However, the same documents show that Hajim’s legal representatives later appealed verdict “(2017) X31 J D No. 180” to the High People’s Court of the XUAR, citing a “violation of court proceedings” because he lacked access to a lawyer during the trial, and arguing there was “insufficient evidence to prove that Abdujelil Helil’s crime was deliberate,” using his last name prior to his pilgrimage.

The High People’s Court of the XUAR deliberated the appeal and found on Jan. 8 of this year that Hajim’s trial had been conducted with “procedural errors,” overturning his sentence and returning the case to the Kashgar Intermediate Court for retrial.

No release

Despite the appeal court’s ruling, Hajim is still serving his sentence, the family friend told RFA, adding that he was recently transferred to Kashgar’s Yuandong Hospital for treatment for an unspecified illness “because his health had deteriorated in jail.”

“He was never released from the Karlighachbinam Prison in Peyziwat (Jiashi) county, where he has been jailed since May 2017,” the friend said.

“Over the past two and a half years, he has been taken to hospitals twice for operations. He was taken most recently to Yuandong Hospital, where he is in intensive care after his health declined sharply.”

RFA called the Kashgar Intermediate Court seeking comment on Hajim’s case, but was told by a court official, who declined to provide his name, that he could not provide any information “unless you call us from a local number.”

Liao Yong, an attorney from the Sichuan Yafeng Law Firm who represents Hajim, told RFA that “due to the sensitivity of the case, I can’t reveal any information.”

A staff worker at Yuandong Hospital confirmed that Hajim is staying at the facility, but said his primary care physician had left for the day and suggested calling back to speak with him at a later time.

A ‘political’ matter

Nury Turkel, a lawyer and chairman of the Washington-based Uyghur Human Rights Project exile group, questioned why Hajim is continuing to serve his sentence and urged authorities to release him so that he can return to his family and seek medical treatment.

“According to China’s Criminal Procedure Law, if a verdict by the lower court is overturned by a higher court, the accused should be acquitted and released immediately,” he said.

But Turkel suggested that the reason Hajim had yet to be released is because “his case is not a legal matter, but a political one.”

“Since China doesn’t have an independent judiciary, a person is arrested on the decision of a politician, and his or her fate is determined by politicians,” Turkel said.

Abdujelil Hajim is member of a family that China has seen as threat for a long time—[so his case has nothing to do with] committing so-called separatist or terrorist acts, but rather his family’s influence in society,” he added.

“Governments like the one in China, who lack confidence and are worried about their future, perceive intelligent people, or people with influence, like the members of Abdujelil Hajim’s family, as a political threat.”

Repressive policies

Authorities are believed to have held more than 1.5 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities accused of harboring “strong religious views” and “politically incorrect” in a vast network of internment camps in the XUAR since April 2017, and have jailed or detained hundreds of Uyghur academics and other influential members of the ethnic group in recent years.

While Beijing initially denied the existence of the camps, China this year changed tack and began describing the facilities as “boarding schools” that provide vocational training for Uyghurs, discourage radicalization, and help protect the country from terrorism.

China recently organized two visits to monitor internment camps in the XUAR—one for a small group of foreign journalists, and another for diplomats from non-Western countries, including Russia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, and Thailand—during which officials dismissed claims about mistreatment and poor conditions in the facilities as “slanderous lies.”

But reporting by RFA’s Uyghur Service and other media outlets suggest that those in the camps are detained against their will and subjected to political indoctrination, routinely face rough treatment at the hands of their overseers, and endure poor diets and unhygienic conditions in the often overcrowded facilities.

The fates of the three other wealthy businessmen who were arrested alongside Hajim are currently unknown.

Reported Mamatjan Juma and Sada for RFA’s Uyghur Service. Translated by Mamatjan Juma. Written in English by Joshua Lipes.

Copyright © 1998-2016, RFA. Used with the permission of Radio Free Asia, 2025 M St. NW, Suite 300, Washington DC 20036. https://www.rfa.org

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Top

India News Brief

4 July, 2020

22,771 COVID-19 Cases and 442 Deaths in the Last 24 Hours
Delhi's Jama Masjid Reopens for Public Amid Tight Social Distancing Norms

Total COVID Cases: 648,318 Death Toll: 18,655

India's Most Affected States:

Maharashtra: Total Positive Cases: 186,626 Total Deaths: 8,178

Gujarat: Total Positive Cases: 33,999  Total Deaths: 1,888

Madhya Pradesh: Total  Positive Cases: 14,106 Total Deaths: 589

West Bengal: Total Positive Cases: 19,819 Total Deaths: 699

Delhi: Total Positive Cases: 92,175 Total Deaths: 2,864

Rajasthan: Total Positive Cases: 18,662 Total Deaths: 430

Uttar Pradesh: Total Positive  Cases: 24,825 Total Deaths: 735

Tamil Nadu : Total Positive Cases: 98,392 Total Deaths: 1,321

Andhra Pradesh: Total Positive Cases: 16,097 Total Deaths: 198

Telengana: Total Positive Cases:17,357 Total Deaths: 267

Karnataka: Total Positive Cases: 18,016 Total Deaths: 272

Punjab: Total Positive Cases: 5,784 .Total Deaths: 149

Jammu and Kashmir: 7,849 Total Deaths: 115

The West Bengal Government Allows 50 People at Marriage Functions and Funerals during the current phase of COVID-19 Lockdown from 1 July to 31 July.
According to Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, morning walks will be allowed from 5.30 a.m to 8.30 a.m provided social distancing and other norms.
The new guidelines issued by the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on 30 June: Schools, colleges, educational institutions, cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places, and even metro services will continue to remain shut until July 31

India Reports 18,522 New Cases and 418 Deaths in 24 Hours 

COVID-19: Highlights 

Schools May Reopen in August According to Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokriyal.

Religious Places Visit: No Touching of Deity, No no Sparkling of Holy Water No Prasada in Temples Wearing Mask Thermal Screening is a must 

Shopping Malls Visit: Elderly People With 65 Years of Age and Children Below 10 Years Are Advised to Stay at Home.

Restaurant and food courts in malls to operate at 50 per cent seating capacity with a mandatory distance of six feet between tables. No common prayer mats, physical offerings like prasad, or sprinkling of holy water, in places of worship. Age and health-based restrictions on stepping out of home. Masks to be mandatory, and the Aarogya Setu app 'recommended' for all.

Use of masks, thermal screening, social distancing and sanitisation, the guidelines  require people above 65 years of age, specially  people with comorbidities, pregnant woman, and children below the age of 10 years, to stay at home. Masks are mandatory at all times, including inside restaurants

15 Day Amarnath Yarra Starts from 22 July

Standard Operating Procedures issued by the Indian Health Ministry 

Lockdown extends till June 30

  • International air travel, Metro rail services not allowed 

Cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places; and, social/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural/ religious functions/ and other large congregations will not allowed..

According to MHA guidelines, in Phase II, schools, colleges, educational/ training/ coaching institutions etc., will be opened after consultations with States and Union Territories.

There shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods. No separate permission or approval or e-permit will be required for such movement

But  states have the freedom to decide on public movement.

COVID-19: Delhi Death Toll Rises to 82 in Last 24 Hours

Probable Guidelines for Lockdown 5.0.

More travel routes are likely to open in Lockdown 5.0.

From June 1, the Railways will operate 100 pairs of mail or express trains, bookings have already begun. Then AC class services will resume.

Some states have already begun intra-state buses. Other states may  begin intra-tate bus services after June 1.Metro  services may begin in a limited manner, with lesser passenger capacity, social distancing norms and longer stops at each station.

Shops selling non-essential items were allowed to open during Lockdown 4.0.. More shops may open in Lockdown 5.0 even in markets.But no confirmed news regarding opening of shopping malls.Now many shops that have re-opened in market areas are operating on an odd-even basis.

Some cities have already allowed salons and beauty parlours to open with strict social distancing guidelines and wearing protective gear is a must.In containment areas the same rule may prevail in Lockdown 5.0.

The Human Resource Development Ministry of India will soon announce the guidelines of   schools reopening.

How to identify Fake News or Messeges on Social Media 

Beware of Fake News and Fake Messages on Social Media

Always follow websites or social media platforms of traditional media outlets whether newspapers, magazines,Television News Channels or Radio Stations and authentic online only media outlets.They still maintain journalism excellence and stress on reportorial talent.On the other hand, fake news websites run by people with non journalism background and promote their own ideology with fake news and disinformations and obviously conspiracy theories.

But unfortunately mainstream media also manipulates news to establish their story angle.There were various instances when News papers and TV Channels promoted fake news/conspiracy theories in the form of out of context or manipulated pictures/videos and distorted informations.

Always check the URL of any website.Some fake news websites look like the orginal and popular one the same layout,Logo but if you check the URL you may find extra words like if the orginal website's URL is www.xxx.com the duplicate one might be www.xxx.com.co or something like that so first check the URL for authentic informations.

Check whether photos are original or photoshopped.Check Google images for authenticity.You can find help from Google Reverse Images search.

Check the news sources from other websites whether they picked up the story or not.

Whether the website layout is little bit clumsy and obviously grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes and excessive use of Sex related and sensational and hate stories.Because sex and hate sells.

Follow official websites relating to COVID-19

WHO Clarifies the disinformation about the virus:
COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates
Cold Weather and Snow can not kill the new coronavirus
Taking a Hot Bath Does Not Prevent COVID-19
COVID-19 Can not be transmitted through mosquito bites

Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body. Spraying such substances can be harmful to clothes or mucous membranes (i.e. eyes, mouth)

According to World Health Organization (WHO): Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water

Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth . If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early

Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover.

If you develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition

Follow WHO guidelines

www.who.int

When you follow COVID-19 related news and messages from social media then check and recheck it before consuming it.Follow journalism mantra: if your mother says she loves you, check it out.

Most of the messages or informations quote different organizations like WHO, UNICEF, UNDP,Cambridge University  or other well known institutes,organizations or individual to authenticate the messeges.Check official websites of these organizations  if stories are repeated there

Forwarding messages from unknown sources or little known sources, it would be better to ignore it.

Check whether any logo like UNICEF or WHO or other organizations used in the messages which look similar to original logo.

These type of messages are full of Grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes which are quite uncommon in original messages.

Don't rely on viral social media messages such as Coronavirus Infected Indian Currencies of Rs.500 and Rs.2,000 Notes Found, Muslim Man Spit in Food At Indian Restaurant.....Always Check Authentic Sources.

Some fake messages pretend to be real one like unofficial Twitter handle of international media organizations like BBC,CNN,Washinton Post, New York Times-check the official Twitter handles of media outlets.

You can identify fake messages if the message requests you to share it.

Beware of Fake News or Fake Photos/Videos Relating to Communal Hatred

Always check the fact checking sites if you have some doubts about the authenticity of any information or picture.

www.boomlive.in

www.altnews.in

https://check4spam.com

https://smhoaxslayer.com

www.factchecker.in

www.allsides.com

www.factcheck.org

www.newsbusters.org

www.politifact.com

www.snopes.com

www.propublica.org

The Same Method Applies to You Tube Videos Check the Source the credibility of the Source.To Check Fake You Tube Videos Check and Recheck the sources. Does the person have the legal right to the video posted? Did that person capture the video? Whether it has been altered?

But due to advancement of technology we can not really wipe out fake news.According to experts advent of  Artificial Intelligence(AI) some companies small or big one developing  technologies that can  lay digitally created script to anybody's voice  even words,sentences never said by the person.Even they are developing a technology which can create fake video footage,images,audios like originals.So be cautious! Rumour-mongers are active everywhere whether in physical world or cyber world.

For any further information relating to fake news and how-to search authentic informations from the internet write to us info@crimeandmoreworld.com or Whats App:+919073399779

COVID-19 Related Conspiracy Theories:
https://fsi.stanford.edu/news/china-covid19

 

 

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