Human Rights Defenders Information Center reported on December 2 that Uyghur singer Ablajan Awut Ayup received an 11-year sentence in prison.
Ablajan Awut Ayup, born in 1985, is a native of Pishan County, Hotan Prefecture, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, and a famous new-generation Uyghur singer. His stage name is AJ. He is an artist, an advocate of Uyghur culture, a promoter, and a political prisoner in China.
In recent years, he has become a powerful idol who integrates lyrics, composition, singing, and dancing. He can sing songs in many languages like Mandarin, English, and Uyghur, and the Uyghurs adore him.
Awut Ayup deeply felt that the Chinese government marginalizes and discriminates against non-Han ethnic groups in his homeland. On March 17, 2017, he did an interview with the British BBC News Network and publicly expressed his hope to be a bridge between the Han and Uyghur ethnic groups and unexpectedly touched the CCP’s sensitivity of strict political control of ethnic ideology in the Uyghurs homeland. Subsequently, the Xinjiang regime mercilessly suppressed the singer.
In March 2018, he was inexplicably taken away by Hotan prefectural police inexplicably took Awut Ayup away and sent him to a re-education camp. A few months later, they formally arrested him on unknown charges. In December 2018, Hotan City District Court sentenced him to 11 years in prison till March 2029. Reports reveal that the heavy sentencing was related to Awut Ayup praising and promoting Uyghur culture and agreeing to be interviewed by the British BBC News Network. The prison where he is currently serving his sentence is unknown.
Ablajan Awut Ayup is best known for his songs like “Ana Yurt” (Motherland) and “Dear Teacher” (Söyümlük Muellim).