June 10, 2015

"The Chinese probably assume that they can imprison Mr. Hoshur’s brothers with impunity and simply tell the rest of the world to get lost."

Washington Post China is attempting to punish the ethnic Uighur journalist Shohret Hoshur of Radio Free Asia by imprisoning his three brothers in China.

'Mr. Hoshur left China in 1994 after he ran into trouble with the authorities because of his reporting. He has since become a U.S. citizen, and his work has provided an important window on events in the largely Muslim province of Xinjiang, beset in the past few years with a violent conflict that China blames on Uighur separatists. Radio Free Asia is funded annually by the U.S. government’s Broadcasting Board of Governors.

'Mr. Hoshur’s original and courageous reporting irritated the Chinese authorities, and his family in Xinjiang began suffering several years ago. But the intimidation and threats have accelerated in recent months.

'One of Mr. Hoshur’s brothers was sentenced to five years in prison last year on charges of violating state security laws. Two other brothers have been detained since August after discussing the trial in a phone conversation with Mr. Hoshur. Now, according to Mr. Hoshur, family members have been told that both detained brothers — who have disappeared into the gulag and not been heard from since — are about to be formally charged with leaking state secrets.'

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