Police arrested Uighur journalist, writer, and webmaster Omerjan Hasan, 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 and accused him of violating political discipline by publishing an unofficial history of Xinjiang province, spreading harmful information, defaming the Communist Party and government, and sabotaging national unity, ethnic unity, and social stability in May 2016.
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 Hasan’s résumé. Hasan was also 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 Uyghur Human Rights Project and The 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 is being held at the Aksu Prison in Aksu Prefecture.
In late 2018, an officer at the Aksu Public Security Bureau who answered the phone immediately hung up after hearing Hasan’s name and CPJ’s request for comment.
CPJ was unable to determine Hasan’s state of health as of late 2018.