Free Huseyin Celil
Huseyin Celil is a Canadian citizen and a Uighur human rights activist from China who promoted the rights of China’s Uighur minority. In 2001, he fled China after being in jail for supporting the religious and political rights of the Uighur 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 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 wrong. The police in China found out that Huseyin was in Uzbekistan, and asked the Uzbek police to arrest Huseyin. They did, and then sent him to China.
The Chinese authorities accused Huseyin of offences related to his activities in support of Uighur 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 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. It was not conducted fairly, and he was sentenced to life in prison in China, where he remains today.
Huseyin has spent much of his time in solitary confinement. He lacks healthy food and is in poor health. His mother and sister, who live in China, are occasionally allowed to visit him.
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 for 10 years after an unfair trial. Take action now to ensure that Huseyin is not subject to another 10 years of unfair treatment.
What You Can Do:
1. Sign an on line petition and learn more about Huseyin and his family in Canada
2. Sign and Share Amnesty’s petition
Download and sign petitions demanding Huseyin be set free.
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.
Write a polite letter to the Chinese authorities. Ask that they:
Address Your Messages to:
Premier of the People’s Republic of China
You can send Copies To:
Director of Department of Justice
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. Remind the Goverment to use all available opportunities to call for the immediate release of Huseyin Celil.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
With Copies to:
The Honourable Chrystia Freeland
4. 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)
5. 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.
Amnesty Members and Groups have faithfully campaigned for justice for Huseyin for the past 10 years. Please join us and support Amnesty’s call for the release of Huseyin Celil.
Huseyin Celil is a Canadian detained unjustifiably in China. His lawyer Chris MacLeod and Amnesty member Wilf Ruland, who provides leadership on the case, motivate guests at Write for Rights event in Toronto. Video footage by www.joelcliftontakesphotographs.com.