RFA: Veteran Editor of Uyghur Publishing House Among 14 Staff Members Held Over ‘Problematic Books’

A 30-year veteran editor is among more than a dozen staff members arrested after their Uyghur-run publishing house in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) released books deemed “problematic” because of improper political content, according to sources.

At least 14 staff members of 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.

In addition to Kashgar Publishing House’s current deputy editor-in-chief and two former editors-in-chief, the source said that 60-year-old Memetjan Abliz Boriyar, who worked as a manager and editor at the company since 1987, was taken into custody in early October because he had approved the release of more than 100 books that were later blacklisted by the government.

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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