China: Uyghur editor jumps from 8th floor fearing detention
Beijing, Oct 2: In a bizarre incident, an Uyghur editor-in-chief of a state-run literature magazine in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) of northwest China committed suicide as he apprehended detention in a political "re-education camp", Radio Free Asia (RFA) cited sources as saying. The tragedy happened amid a series of arrests of Uyghur officials accused of being two-faced. "Two-faced" is a term which is used by the government to describe Uyghur cadres who on one hand pay lip service to Communist Party rule in the XUAR, but secretly dissent state policies that allegedly repress the members of their ethnic group.
The 55-year-old editor-in-chief of Literature Translation magazine, Qeyser Qeyum, "jumped out of the eighth floor" of his office building in Urumqi, the regional capital, RFA's Uyghur Service cited as being told by Qutluq Almas, who had previously worked with Qeyum at Xinjiang University.
Almas, who is in exile in the US now, had earlier told RFA about Azat Sultan, the Uyghur former vice president of Xinjiang University who was arrested in July 2017 from the Xinjiang Association of Literature and Art where he worked as the president.
Starting in April last year, the Uyghurs accused of harbouring "strong religious views" and "politically incorrect" ideas have either been jailed or detailed in political re-education camps across the XUAR, where members of the ethnic group have complained of religious and culture suppression under Beijing's rule.
Juret Nizamidin, an ex- journalist with the official Xinjiang Daily newspaper also said about Qeyum's death, the RFA report said. According to him, the offices of Literature Translation at Xinjiang Association of Literature and Art are located next to those of Xinjiang Daily and the latter's Uyghur deputy editor-in-chief and three Uyghur directors were arrested for being "two-faced" by authorities in mid-2017. Qeyum was reportedly afraid and apprehended an arrest next.
"Not long after these arrests took place [in August 2017], Qeyser Qeyum committed suicide by jumping from the 8th floor," Nizamidin was quoted as saying.