RFA: Authorities Detain Senior Editors of Uyghur Publishing House Over ‘Problematic’ Books

Authorities in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) have arrested the current deputy editor-in-chief and two former head editors of a Uyghur-run publishing house that released books deemed “problematic” because of improper political content, official sources said.

At least 14 staff members of the Kashgar Publishing House in the XUAR’s Kashgar (in Chinese, Kashi) city have been arrested since last year, a source with ties to the region recently told RFA’s Uyghur Service, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Those arrested included Ablajan Siyit, the publisher’s current deputy editor-in-chief, Osman Zunun, a former editor-in-chief who retired 10 years ago, and Abliz Omer, another former editor-in-chief who retired 20 years earlier, the source said, adding that they were detained on Oct. 15, “in the beginning of the year,” and “last year,” respectively.

The arrests are part of a “sweeping campaign” in the XUAR since the beginning of 2017 to censor literature based on political content, the source said, with sensitive books being categorized as “dangerous” or “problematic,” and anyone deemed responsible for publishing them targeted for detention.

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