Urgent Action Outcome: Human rights defender released with conditions
After more than five months of detention, prisoner of conscience Serikzhan Bilash was released from house arrest on 17 August after he pleaded guilty and agreed to stop campaigning on human rights violations in China. He will pay a fine of $300 and remain under travel restrictions for three months. Following his release, Serikzhan stated that he had accepted the terms because he was told that he would face seven years in prison if he did not. He said that his organization would continue his work after he stepped down.
Serikzhan Bilash set up the NGO Atajurt Eriktileri (Atajurt) in 2017 to assist the relatives of ethnic Kazakhs detained in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR). He worked closely with Amnesty International researchers in exposing human rights violations in XUAR. He contributed to an Amnesty International report published in September 2018 (https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/asa17/9113/2018/en/). The publication documents disturbing reports of intrusive surveillance, arbitrary detention and forced indoctrination targeting Uighurs, Kazakhs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic groups in China’s XUAR.
We will continue to monitor this case and respond to any developments in Serikzhan Bilash’s situation as appropriate.
NO FURTHER ACTION IS REQUESTED FROM THE NETWORK. MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO SENT APPEALS.
This is the 2nd and final update for UA 46/16 More information: