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International Christian Concern 2020 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, #941 Washington, DC 20006 301-585-5915 ♦ icc@persecution.org

PETITION CALLING FOR THE IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF ALIMUJIANG YIMITI

Ambassador Zhang Yesui Embassy of the People’s Republic of China 3505 International Place, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008 February 7, 2013, Dear Ambassador Zhang, It is with great concern that we petition your government for the immediate release of Mr. Alimujiang Yimiti. Mr. Alimujiang is a Christian and father of two who was wrongfully arrested and imprisoned almost five years ago in Xinjiang Province for practicing his faith. On September 13th, 2007, the Kashgar Municipal Commission of Ethnic and Religious Affairs accused Mr. Alimujiang of “spreading Christianity among the Uyghurs and distributing religious propaganda materials to increase the number of Christians.” This accusation, of which Mr. Alimujiang was never officially charged, is strong evidence that authorities in Xinjiang province were focused on Mr. Alimujiang’s constitutionally protected right to practice his religious beliefs. Five months later on February 20th, 2008, Mr. Alimujiang was formally arrested and placed in the Kashgar Detention Center for “unlawfully providing state secrets to overseas organizations.” When Mr. Alimujiang was finally allowed to see his defense attorney nearly a month after his arrest he informed him that interrogations by the authorities focused exclusively on his Christian faith. Alarmingly there is evidence that Mr. Alimujiang was severely beaten and hospitalized by prison officials during his detention. On September 12th, 2008, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention issued a formal opinion (No. 29/2008) declaring that Mr. Alimujiang’s detention was arbitrary and based solely on his “religious faith and religious activities.” To date the People’s Republic of China has not responded to this official allegation. On July 28th, 2009, after holding Mr. Alimujiang for more than a year in detention, the Kashgar Intermediate People’s Court held a second secret trial but failed to convict Mr. Alimujiang of providing state secrets to overseas organizations. However just nine days later, on August 6th, after the departure of his defense counsel, Mr. Alimujiang was sentenced in complete secrecy to a 15year prison term. Mr. Alimujiang was informed of the verdict in his cell while his family and attorneys did not discover the sentence had even been passed for more than two months. Mr. Ambassador, we urge you to take immediate steps to secure the release of Mr. Alimujiang. His case not only represents a blatant lack of concern for religious freedom but is a prime example of the endemic corruption within the Communist Party that President Xi Jinping has recently promised to wipe out. No citizen of China should have to live in fear that they may be arbitrarily detained and secretly imprisoned for simply sharing their personal religious beliefs with others. Mr. Alimujiang’s release will both demonstrate the authenticity of President Xi Jinping’s commitment to correct corrupt practices within the Party and secure a great victory for the people whom he represents. Sincerely, International Christian Concern (and attached) CC: Secretary of State John Kerry Senator Robert Menendez, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Senator Bob Corker, Ranking Republican Member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Congressman Ed Royce, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Congresswoman Elliot Engel, Ranking Democratic Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs


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PETITION%20CALLING%20FOR%20THE%20IMMEDIATE%20RELEASE%20OF%20ALIMUJIANG%20YIMITI