Memetemin, a writer, teacher, and translator who had actively advocated for the Uighur ethnic group in the northwestern Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, was detained in Kashgar, Xinjiang province, on charges of “leaking state secrets.”
In June 2003, the Kashgar Intermediate People’s Court sentenced Memetemin to nine years in prison, plus a three-year suspension of political rights. Radio Free Asia provided CPJ with court documents listing 18 specific counts against him, which included translating state news articles into Chinese from Uighur; forwarding official speeches to the Germany-based East Turkistan Information Center (ETIC)—a news outlet that advocated for an independent state for the Uighur ethnic group—and conducting original reporting for ETIC. The court also accused him of recruiting reporters for ETIC, which was banned in China.
Memetemin did not have legal representation at his trial.