Omerjan Hasan

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Police in Xinjiang’s Aksu city 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 U.S. Congress-funded Radio Free Asia. According to another Radio Free Asia report, the Aksu Commission for Discipline Inspection accused Hasan 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 Radio Free Asia. 

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, posted on his personal account on Twitter, which later changed its name to X, that Hasan was being held at the Aksu Prison in Aksu prefecture. 

CPJ’s messages to the Xinjiang governmental service and the Xinjiang region prison administration in October 2023 about Hasan did not receive a response.