Name: Gulmira Imin
Country/Area of Origin: China
Background: Prior to her arrest, Imin held a local government position in the capital of Xinjiang, Urumqi. In 2009, Imin established the website Salkin, which focused on Uyghur culture and news in Xinjiang, and which took on a critical perspective of the Chinese government.
Reason for Arrest:
In July 2009, there was a major protest in Urumqi to condemn the ‘revenge’ killings of two Uyghur migrant employees in Guangdong Province following false accusations of Uyghur workers sexually assaulting Han Chinese female employees. The allegation was completely untrue.
During the protest which Imin participated in, violence escalated and led to the deaths of 200 individuals, both Uyghurs and Han Chinese, and injured almost 2,000. Five days later, Imin was detained on suspicions that she was the organizer of the protests and that she used her website to disseminate plans for the event. Imin was charged on April 1, 2010 with “splittism, leaking state secrets, and organizing an illegal demonstration” and sentenced to a lifetime in prison- her subsequent appeal was rejected.
- In December 2019, USCIRF chair Tenzin Dorjee called for the release of Gulmira Imin:
- “This year will mark 10 years since Gulmira Imin was given a life sentence. USCIRF again condemns the unsubstantiated charges against Ms. Imin and urges the Chinese authorities to release her immediately and unconditionally. I commend the efforts of activists and relatives of those detained to demand evidence of their loved ones’ well-being. Ultimately, the Chinese government must release the millions of Muslims it has arbitrarily and unjustly detained.”