Free Huseyin Celil!
Huseyin Celil is a Canadian citizen and a Uyghur human rights activist originally from China who promoted the rights of China’s Uyghur minority. In 2001, he fled China after being in jail for supporting the religious and political rights of the Uyghur people. The United Nations recognized him as a refugee.
Huseyin Celil (pronounced “Je-lil”) arrived in Canada with his wife Kamila and their child in October of 2001. After they settled, two more boys were born and Huseyin became a Canadian citizen in 2005. In March 2006, when Kamila was pregnant with their fourth child, the family travelled to Uzbekistan to visit her family. That’s when things started to go badly wrong. The police in China found out that Huseyin was in Uzbekistan, and asked the Uzbek police to arrest him. They did, and then sent him to China.
The Chinese authorities falsely accused Huseyin of serious offences because of his activities in support of Uyghur rights. They held Huseyin in a secret place. He was not given access to a lawyer, his family, or Canadian officials. The Chinese authorities threatened and tortured him and forced him to sign a confession. They refused to recognize Huseyin’s status as a Canadian citizen, and they did not allow Canadian officials to attend his trial. The trial was not conducted fairly, and he was sentenced to life in prison in China, where he remains today.
Huseyin was held in solitary confinement for much of the time in the early years of his imprisonment. He lacked healthy food and was in poor health. His mother and sister, who live in China, were occasionally allowed to visit him. In 2016 China started a brutal crackdown on Uyghurs in Xinjiang province where his family lives and where he was imprisoned. No one has heard from Huseyin or his family since 2016.
Kamila and her children in Canada don’t know if they will ever see Huseyin again. Kamila needs her husband, and the boys need their father back.
Huseyin has been in prison since 2006 after an unfair trial. Please take action now to ensure that Huseyin is not subject to more years of unfair imprisonment.
What You Can Do:
1. Sign an online petition and learn more about Huseyin and his family in Canada
2. Sign and Share Amnesty’s petition
Download and sign a paper petition demanding Huseyin be set free. We will deliver them on your behalf
3. Letter Writing
Letter writing remains an effective advocacy tool. Never forget the power of the pen! The Chinese authorities need to be constantly reminded that Huseyin is not forgotten and has many friends in Canada who are concerned about his well-being.
Please write a polite letter to the Chinese authorities. Ask that:
- They release Huseyin Celil immediately as he has not had a fair trial.
- Until his release, they provide him with regular visits from his family and Canadian consular officials.
- Until his release, they provide him with adequate exercise and nourishment; as well as prompt medical attention for all of his medical needs.
Address Your Messages to:
Premier of the People’s Republic of China
The State Council General Office
2 Fuyoujie, Xichengqu,
People’s Republic of China
Fax: 011 86 10 6596 1109 (c/o Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Salutation: Your Excellency
You can send Copies To:
Minister of Justice
Salutation: Dear Minster He
Learn more details on writing on Amnesty’s Urgent Action webpage
4. Write a letter to the Government of Canada
Immediately after Huseyin’s arrest in Uzbekistan, the Canadian government intervened but could not prevent him from being extradited to China. After Huseyin was extradited the government raised his case with the Chinese officials and in the media on a number of occasions. Canadian officials tried to attend his trial, but Chinese officials did not provide information as to when and where it would take place.
The Canadian government needs to know that Canadians have not given up on Huseyin. Please remind the government to work by all means possible to secure the immediate release of Huseyin Celil.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
House of Commons
With Copies to:
The Honourable Mélanie Joly
Minister of Foreign Affairs
House of Commons
5. Solidarity with Huseyin and his family
It makes a huge difference to Huseyin’s wife Kamila Telendibaeva and their children to know that Huseyin is not forgotten, and that people across Canada are working on his behalf. Likewise, it is a hugely important boost to Huseyin to know that people care about him and his family, are supporting them, and are continuing to work to improve his situation and to achieve his ultimate release.
You can send messages to Kamila and her children through Amnesty member Wilf Ruland. Please be aware that, while Kamila appreciates your communication and support, she will not be able to reply directly due to the incredible demands on her time. She is thankful for your understanding and support.
Wilf Ruland (volunteer)
Fieldworker with Amnesty International Canada
766 Sulphur Springs Road
Dundas ON L9H 5E3
6. Write directly to Huseyin in Prison
You can write Huseyin directly at the prison, and send him non-political magazines or photos. Remember, everything sent to Huseyin is opened and examined by the prison authorities. Your messages to Huseyin must be simple and respectful. He may not receive your letter or package, but even if Huseyin does not read it, there is a very good chance that SOMEONE will! Letters to the prison remind the Chinese authorities that Huseyin is not forgotten.
Di 6 qu, Di 5 Fenqu
Xinjiang Weiwuer Zizhiqu Diyi Jianyu
No. 5 Siping Lu
Xinjiang Weiwuer Zizhiqu
People’s Republic of China