Aksu police arrested blogger Omerjan Hasan in early 2016. He is serving a sentence of 15 years for publishing an unofficial history of the Xinjiang region.
Police arrested Hasan, a Uighur journalist, writer, and webmaster also known as Bozqir, sometime in March or April 2016, according to the World Uyghur Congress and Radio Free Asia. According to news reports, the Aksu Commission for Discipline Inspection launched an investigation into Hasan in May and accused him of violating political discipline by publishing an unofficial history of Xinjiang, spreading harmful information, defaming the Communist Party and government, and sabotaging national unity, ethnic unity, and social stability.
Hasan worked as a translator, editor, and communications department deputy director for Aksu Television and the Aksu Bureau of Radio and Television from 1989 to 2003. In 2003, he started working for the China Nationality Unity magazine as its Xinjiang region assistant editor. Hasan has published numerous essays and short stories, according to a blog post detailing his résumé.
He also worked as the administrator of the popular Uighur-language website and discussion forum Bozqir. The website was shut down after his arrest, according to the World Uyghur Congress.
On May 31, 2016, the Chinese Communist Party revoked Hasan’s membership and accused him of publishing articles that harmed the party and the government’s policies, according to news reports.
According to the Uyghur Human Rights Project and PEN International’s 2017 Case List, Hasan was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2016, along with Tursun Memet Marshal, a web administrator for the Uighur-language website Misranim.
In February 2018, Ilshat Hassan, president of the Uyghur American Association, a nonprofit organization promoting Uighur culture and human rights, tweeted via his personal Twitter account that Hasan was being held at the Aksu Prison in Aksu prefecture.
In late 2019, CPJ called the Aksu Public Security Bureau for comment; an officer answered the phone and immediately hung up after hearing Hasan’s name. In late 2021, CPJ called the bureau but the number was out of service.
The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Prison Administration and the Xinjiang People’s Procuratorate did not respond to CPJ’s emails requesting information about Hasan’s health and status in late 2021.