From the ESCAS Board: Statement of concern over the indictment and imprisonment of Professor Andrei V. Kubatin, Institute of Oriental Studies, Tashkent.

 

[Russian translation here.]

Statement of concern over the indictment and imprisonment of Professor Andrei V. Kubatin, Institute of Oriental Studies, Tashkent

10 June, 2019

The European Society for Central Asian Studies expresses its deep concern over the indictment and continued imprisonment, and alleged torture of our colleague Andrei V. Kubatin in Uzbekistan. Andrei Kubatin is a well-known scholar, who worked at the Institute of Oriental Studies in Tashkent, and who has made a significant contribution to the study of the early history of Uzbekistan.

In December 2017 Andrei Kubatin was convicted of treason and sentenced to 11 years imprisonment (later reduced to six years on appeal).[1] The prosecution alleged that he provided scanned copies of rare books to a foreign scholar. Kubatin maintains that none of the materials involved classified documents, but were copies of publicly available scholarly works from his own library. He maintains his innocence of all charges. International human rights groups and scholarly associations have repeatedly highlighted his case and urged his release.[2] They have also pointed to credible evidence that he was tortured during the initial phase of detention.[3]

The continued imprisonment of Andrei Kubatin threatens to undermine recent important advances made by the Government of Uzbekistan in expanding academic freedom and promoting international academic cooperation. We understand that Andrei Kubatin has been granted an appeal hearing which will take place once again on Wednesday, June 12.

We join others in the scholarly community in calling for Andrei Kubatin’s release.

The ESCAS Board.

 

 

[1] http://enews.fergananews.com/news.php?id=3801&mode=snews

[2] See the statement by the Central Eurasian Studies Society, at https://www.centraleurasia.org/2019/kubatin  Human Rights Watch, https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/03/08/beyond-samarkand

[3] Human Rights Watch World Report 2019, ‘Uzbekistan’,  https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2019/country-chapters/uzbekistan

Заявление о обеспокоенности по поводу обвинительного заключения и заключения в тюрьму профессора Андрея Кубатина, Институт востоковедения, Ташкент

Заявление о обеспокоенности по поводу обвинительного заключения и заключения в тюрьму профессора Андрея Кубатина, Институт востоковедения, Ташкент

10 июня 2019 г.

Европейское общество по изучению Центральной Азии выражает глубокую обеспокоенность по поводу обвинительного заключения и продолжающегося тюремного заключения, а также по поводу предполагаемых пыток нашего коллеги Андрея Кубатина в Узбекистане. Андрей Кубатин – известный ученый, который работал в Институте востоковедения в Ташкенте и внес значительный вклад в изучение ранней истории Узбекистана.

В декабре 2017 года Андрей Кубатин был признан виновным в государственной измене и приговорен к 11 годам лишения свободы (после апелляции срок был сокращен до шести лет). [1] Согласно обвинению, Андрей Кубатин пeредал отсканированные копии редких книг иностранному ученому. Кубатин утверждает, что ни один из указанных материалов не содержал секретных документов, все материалы были копиями общедоступных научных работ из его личной библиотеки. Он настаивает на своей невиновности в отношении всех выдвинутых против него обвинений. Международные правозащитные группы и научные ассоциации неоднократно освещали его дело и требовали его освобождения. [2] Они также указывают на наличие достоверных доказательств того, что находясь под стражей во время предварительного заключения ученый подвергался пыткам.[3]

Продолжающееся лишение свободы Андрея Кубатина ставит под сомнение важные шаги, предпринятые правительством Узбекистана в последнее время, направленные на расширение академической свободы и развитие международного академического сотрудничества.

Новое слушание по апелляции поданной Андреем Кубатиным назначено на среду, 12 июня.

Мы присоединяемся к призывам научного сообщества освободить Андрея Кубатина.

 

[1] http://enews.fergananews.com/news.php?id=3801&mode=snews

[2] See the statement by the Central Eurasian Studies Society, at https://www.centraleurasia.org/2019/kubatin  Human Rights Watch, https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/03/08/beyond-samarkand

[3] Human Rights Watch World Report 2019, ‘Uzbekistan’,  https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2019/country-chapters/uzbekistan

From the ESCAS Board: Statement on the detentions and deaths of Central Asian Muslims in ‘re-education centres’ in Xinjiang, China.

[For a Russian translation, see here.]

15 May 2019

The European Society for Central Asian Studies expresses its dismay over the detention of up to 1.5 million Uyghurs and others of mainly Central Asian origin in political “re-education centers” in Xinjiang, Northwest China.[1] These individuals have been interned, imprisoned, or forcibly “disappeared” since April 2017.[2] Furthermore, the wider use of surveillance and artificial intelligence technology to control the population causes us deep concern.[3] Such detention and control measures constitute major violations of human rights,[4] and, in the case of our academic colleagues, a clear disregard for academic freedom.

We are particularly dismayed at the disappearance of at least 435 Uyghur intellectuals and scholars, among whom 125 are students and 77 are university instructors from institutions including Xinjiang University, Xinjiang Normal University, Kashgar University, Xinjiang Medical University, Xinjiang Social Sciences Academy and Khotan Teachers’ College.[5] Among them is our colleague Professor Rahile Dawut, world-renowned scholar of Uyghur studies and internationally recognized expert in Uyghur folklore and traditions.[6] Meanwhile, economics professor Ilham Tohti, who was recently awarded the Freedom Award for highlighting religious and cultural persecution in Xinjiang and calling for understanding between Uyghurs and Han Chinese, is serving a life sentence for alleged ‘ethnic separatism’.[7]

Uyghurs and others of mainly Central Asian origin have been denied the freedom to use their mother tongue, to pursue Qur’anic studies, or to study and research abroad.[8] Those returning to China from periods of study or research have been recalled, detained, questioned, or caused to disappear into internment camps.[9] At least 49 deaths in custody (or occurring shortly after release) have been confirmed during this period. Of these, nine were intellectuals, including religious scholars Muhammad Salih Hajim and Abdulehed Mehsum; scholars Hamit Himit, Abdusattar Qarahajim, Erkinjan Abdukerim and Ehet Aman; and students Abdusalam Mamat, Yasinjan and Mutellip Nurmehmet.[10]

The European Society for Central Asian Studies is a non-political, non-profit international academic association comprising some 1,000 members [check] and committed to the free and open dissemination of knowledge in and about Central Asia. We are a global community whose work thrives on active interaction between scholars and students from around the world.

We condemn these detentions in Xinjiang and strongly urge the Chinese government to ensure the safe return of our colleagues and their students.  It is the view of the board of the European Society for Central Asian Studies that the actions taking place in Xinjiang puts international academic cooperation with Chinese institutions and scholars into jeopardy and raises profound moral questions for foreign academics that wish to work with Chinese colleagues in Central Asian Studies.

The ESCAS Board.

[1] Adrian Zenz (2019) ‘“Thoroughly reforming them towards a healthy heart attitude”: China’s political re-education campaign in Xinjiang’, Central Asian Survey, 38.1, 102-128,

DOI: 10.1080/02634937.2018.1507997; ‘1.5 million Muslims could be detained in China’s Xinjiang: academic’, 13 March 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-xinjiang-rights/15-million-muslims-could-be-detained-in-chinas-xinjiang-academic-idUSKCN1QU2MQ.

[2] Joanne Smith Finley (ed.) Special Issue on Securitization, insecurity and conflict in contemporary Xinjiang, Central Asian Survey, 38.1 (2019), https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/ccas20/38/1;  Sean R. Roberts (2018), ‘The biopolitics of China’s “war on terror” and the exclusion of the Uyghurs’, Critical Asian Studies, 50:2, 232-258, DOI: 10.1080/14672715.2018.1454111.

[3]James A. Millward, ‘What it’s like to live in a surveillance state’, 3 February 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/03/opinion/sunday/china-surveillance-state-uighurs.html; Darren Byler, ‘China’s hi-tech war on its Muslim minority’, 11 April 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/news/2019/apr/11/china-hi-tech-war-on-muslim-minority-xinjiang-uighurs-surveillance-face-recognition; Human Rights Watch, ’China’s Algorithms of Repression: Reverse Engineering a Xinjiang Police Mass Surveillance App’, 1 May 2019, https://www.hrw.org/report/2019/05/01/chinas-algorithms-repression/reverse-engineering-xinjiang-police-mass-surveillance.

[4] Violated rights include: the right to life, liberty and security (Art.3); the right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (Art.5); the right to equal protection of the law without discrimination (Art.7); the right to be free from arbitrary arrest, detention or exile (Art.9); the right to a fair and public hearing in the determination of criminal charges (Art.10); the right to be free from arbitrary interference with one’s privacy, family, home or correspondence (Art.12); the right to leave and return to one’s own country (Art.13); the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion (Art.18); and the right to freedom of opinion and expression (Art.19), https://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/.

[5] Uyghur Human Rights Project report on the disappearance and detention of Uyghur intellectuals, 25 March 2019, https://docs.uhrp.org/pdf/Detained-and-Disappeared-Intellectuals-Under-Assault-in-the-Uyghur-Homeland.pdf; ‘UPDATE – Detained and Disappeared: Intellectuals Under Assault in the Uyghur Homeland’, Uyghur Human Rights Project, https://uhrp.org/press-release/update-%E2%80%93-detained-and-disappeared-intellectuals-under-assault-uyghur-homeland.html .

[6] Scholars at Risk Network, https://www.scholarsatrisk.org/actions/rahile-dawut-china/.

[7]‘Jailed Uyghur Scholar Ilham Tohti Receives Freedom House’s “Freedom Award”’,

https://uhrp.org/news-commentary/jailed-uyghur-scholar-ilham-tohti-receives-freedom-house%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%98freedom-award%E2%80%99.

[8] Darren Byler, ‘The “patriotism” of not speaking Uyghur’, Supchina, 2 Jan 2019, https://supchina.com/2019/01/02/the-patriotism-of-not-speaking-uyghur/.

[9] Special Correspondent, ‘A summer vacation in China’s Muslim gulag: How one university student was almost buried by the “people’s war on terror”’, Foreign Policy, 28 Feb 2018, https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/02/28/a-summer-vacation-in-chinas-muslim-gulag/.

[10] Xinjiang Victims Database, Deaths (2017 – ), https://shahit.biz/eng/#lists; ‘Two Uyghur students die in China’s custody following voluntary return from Egypt’, Radio Free Asia, 21 Dec 2017, https://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/students-12212017141002.html; Uyghur Human Rights Project, ‘Uyghur Human Rights Project condemns death in custody of scholar Muhammad Salih Hajim’, 29 Jan 2018, https://uhrp.org/press-release/uyghur-human-rights-project-condemns-death-custody-scholar-muhammad-salih-hajim.html.

Заявление по поводу задержания и гибели мусульман Центральной Азии в «центрах перевоспитания» в Синьцзяне, Китай.

 

15 Мая, 2019

Европейское общество по изучению Центральной Азии (ESCAS) выражает глубокую обеспокоенность по поводу задержания около 1,5 миллионов уйгуров и других лиц среднезиатского происхождения в политических «центрах перевоспитания» в Синьцзяне на северо-западе Китая[1]. Эти лица были интернированы, заключены в тюрьму или насильно похищены начиная с апреля 2017 года[2]. Кроме того, у нас вызывает беспокойство более широкое использование технологий наблюдения и искусственного интеллекта для контроля над населением[3]. Подобные меры задержания и контроля представляют собой серьезные нарушения прав человека[4], а в случае наших академических коллег, явное игнорирование академической свободы.

Мы особенно встревожены исчезновением как минимум 435 уйгурских интеллектуалов и ученых, среди которых 125 студентов и 77 преподавателей, из таких университетов как Синьцзянский университет, Синьцзянский педагогический университет, Кашгарский университет, Синьцзянский медицинский университет, Синьцзянская академия социальных наук и Хотанский педагогический колледж[5]. Среди них наш коллега, профессор Рахиле Даут, всемирно известный ученый по уйгурским исследованиям и широко признанный эксперт по уйгурскому фольклору и традициям[6]. Тем временем, профессор экономики Ильхам Тохти, который недавно был награжден Премией Свободы за освещение религиозных и культурных преследований в Синьцзяне и призыв к взаимопониманию между уйгурами и ханьцами, отбывает пожизненное заключение по обвинению в «этническом сепаратизме»[7].

Уйгурам и другим лицам, в основном среднеазиатского происхождения, было отказано в праве использовать свой родной язык, заниматься изучением Корана, учиться или заниматься исследованиями за границей[8]. Те, кто вернулись в Китай после обучения или проведения исследований, были задержаны, допрошены или насильственно помещены в лагеря для интернированных[9]. За этот период было подтверждено не менее 49 смертей (или произошедших вскоре после освобождения) среди заключенных. Из них девять были интеллектуалами, включая религиозных ученых таких как Мухаммед Салих Хаджим и Абдулед Мехсум, ученых Хамита Химита, Абдусаттара Карахаджима, Эркинджана Абдукерима и Эхета Амана, а также студентов Абдусалама Мамата, Ясинджана и Мутеллипа Нурмехмет[10].

Европейское общество по изучению Центральной Азии – это неполитическая, некоммерческая международная академическая ассоциация, объединяющая около 1000 членов и приверженная свободному и открытому распространению знаний о Центральной Азии. Мы являемся глобальным сообществом, чья работа направлена на активное взаимодействие ученых и студентов со всего мира.

Мы осуждаем эти задержания в Синьцзяне и настоятельно призываем правительство КНР обеспечить безопасное возвращение наших коллег и их студентов. Правление Европейского общества по изучению Центральной Азии считает, что действия, происходящие в Синьцзяне, ставят под угрозу международное академическое сотрудничество с китайскими учреждениями и учеными и поднимают вопросы морали для иностранных ученых, которые хотят работать с китайскими коллегами по изучению Центральной Азии.

[1] Adrian Zenz (2019) ‘“Thoroughly reforming them towards a healthy heart attitude”: China’s political re-education campaign in Xinjiang’, Central Asian Survey, 38.1, 102-128,

DOI: 10.1080/02634937.2018.1507997; ‘1.5 million Muslims could be detained in China’s Xinjiang: academic’, 13 March 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-xinjiang-rights/15-million-muslims-could-be-detained-in-chinas-xinjiang-academic-idUSKCN1QU2MQ.

[2] Joanne Smith Finley (ed.) Special Issue on Securitization, insecurity and conflict in contemporary Xinjiang, Central Asian Survey, 38.1 (2019), https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/ccas20/38/1;  Sean R. Roberts (2018), ‘The biopolitics of China’s “war on terror” and the exclusion of the Uyghurs’, Critical Asian Studies, 50:2, 232-258, DOI: 10.1080/14672715.2018.1454111.

[3] James A. Millward, ‘What it’s like to live in a surveillance state’, 3 February 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/03/opinion/sunday/china-surveillance-state-uighurs.html; Darren Byler, ‘China’s hi-tech war on its Muslim minority’, 11 April 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/news/2019/apr/11/china-hi-tech-war-on-muslim-minority-xinjiang-uighurs-surveillance-face-recognition; Human Rights Watch, ’China’s Algorithms of Repression: Reverse Engineering a Xinjiang Police Mass Surveillance App’, 1 May 2019, https://www.hrw.org/report/2019/05/01/chinas-algorithms-repression/reverse-engineering-xinjiang-police-mass-surveillance.

[4] К нарушенным правам относятся: право на жизнь, свободу и личную неприкосновенность (ст.3); право быть свободным от пыток и жестоких, бесчеловечных или унижающих достоинство видов обращения и наказания (статья 5); право на равную защиту закона без дискриминации (ст.7); право быть свободным от произвольного ареста, задержания или ссылки (ст. 9); право на справедливое и публичное разбирательство при определении уголовных обвинений (ст.10); право быть свободным от произвольного вмешательства в частную жизнь, семью, дом или переписку (ст.12); право покидать и возвращаться в свою страну (ст.13); право на свободу мысли, совести и религии (ст.18); и право на свободу мнений и их свободное выражение (ст.19), https://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/.

[5] Uyghur Human Rights Project report on the disappearance and detention of Uyghur intellectuals, 25 March 2019, https://docs.uhrp.org/pdf/Detained-and-Disappeared-Intellectuals-Under-Assault-in-the-Uyghur-Homeland.pdf; ‘UPDATE – Detained and Disappeared: Intellectuals Under Assault in the Uyghur Homeland’, Uyghur Human Rights Project, https://uhrp.org/press-release/update-%E2%80%93-detained-and-disappeared-intellectuals-under-assault-uyghur-homeland.html .

[6] Scholars at Risk Network, https://www.scholarsatrisk.org/actions/rahile-dawut-china/.

[7] ‘Jailed Uyghur Scholar Ilham Tohti Receives Freedom House’s “Freedom Award”’, https://uhrp.org/news-commentary/jailed-uyghur-scholar-ilham-tohti-receives-freedom-house%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%98freedom-award%E2%80%99.

[8] Darren Byler, ‘The “patriotism” of not speaking Uyghur’, Supchina, 2 Jan 2019, https://supchina.com/2019/01/02/the-patriotism-of-not-speaking-uyghur/.

[9] Special Correspondent, ‘A summer vacation in China’s Muslim gulag: How one university student was almost buried by the “people’s war on terror”’, Foreign Policy, 28 Feb 2018, https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/02/28/a-summer-vacation-in-chinas-muslim-gulag/.

[10] Xinjiang Victims Database, Deaths (2017 – ), https://shahit.biz/eng/#lists; ‘Two Uyghur students die in China’s custody following voluntary return from Egypt’, Radio Free Asia, 21 Dec 2017, https://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/students-12212017141002.html; Uyghur Human Rights Project, ‘Uyghur Human Rights Project condemns death in custody of scholar Muhammad Salih Hajim’, 29 Jan 2018, https://uhrp.org/press-release/uyghur-human-rights-project-condemns-death-custody-scholar-muhammad-salih-hajim.html.

XVI ESCAS conference (Exeter 2019) – Travel grants update

Definitions and eligibility

Central Asian = “citizens of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and persons from adjacent regions of the Caucasus, Russia, China, Afghanistan and Iran”.

Non-Central Asian = everyone else

Priorities for funding

Funding is prioritised for: (1) citizens of Central Asian countries, (2) who are based at institutions in Central Asia, and (3) are accepted to present papers at the conference. Beyond these three criteria, decision on ranking are based on the quality of the abstract submitted.  It is assumed that foreign scholars and Central Asians based at major international institutions are more likely to have access to funds.  We are not normally able to fund persons who are appearing in the conference as a non-presenter.

Types of award

Three types of award will be made.

£400: Non-Central Asia Travel Bursary. Awarded to Central Asians and non-Central Asians based outside of Central Asia as a flat bursary towards all costs.  In some cases, where a Central Asian university offers substantial internal funding, this award may be offered to an applicant based in the region.  All bookings and travel will be made direct by the recipient.

£800-900: Central Asia Travel Grant. Awarded to Central Asians based inside Central Asia to cover the costs of travel and accommodation. Flight, transfers and Exeter accommodation will be booked and paid for by Exeter on behalf of the recipient.

Supplementary Travel Grant.  Awarded to cover other costs (Conference fee, UK visa, subsistence), subsequently and in addition to a bursary or grant.  These costs will be reimbursed to recipients who are not otherwise able to attend, even after having received the earlier award, due to insufficient funds.

Process and deadlines

17 Feb: deadline for submissions; Michel downloads applications and summary spreadsheet

18 Feb-4 March: compilation and evaluation of applications by conference committee

Each application is scored by at least two assessors from the conference committee.  Assessors will not assess the applications of colleagues and co-authors.  Awards are allocated with consideration of the proportion of applications per discipline and per Central Asian country of origin.

By 8 March: Results released to successful and stand-by applicants.

Throughout March and April: Stand-by applicants informed of whether they will be funded.

message originally published by J. Heathershaw at:

ESCAS Travel Grants: further information [Updated]