Perhat Halmurat

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Uighur student Perhat Halmurat was sentenced in 2014 to 8 years in prison on charges of separatism for contributing to the Xinjiang news website Uighurbiz. He was being held in Turpan Prison in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, but CPJ has been unable to determine whether he was released on schedule in 2022.   


At least seven students were detained in early 2014 and charged with participating in alleged separatist activities led by Ilham Tohti, a scholar and the founder of Uighurbiz, during a secret trial held that November, according to Tohti’s lawyer Li Fangping and a post by Uighurbiz’s official Twitter account (Twitter later changed its name to X). Uighurbiz, also known as UighurOnline, which Tohti started in 2006, was published in Chinese and Uighur, and focused on social issues. 

Tohti was sentenced to life imprisonment. The seven students were sentenced to between three and eight years in prison each, according to the Global Times, a state-run newspaper.  

Two, Akbar Imin and Mutellip Imin, were released in 2019 and 2021, respectively, according to Chinese-language human rights news website China Political Prisoner Concern, but the status of the others remained unclear and several human rights organizations believe the students could be among those sent to political re-education camps or kept in prison after their sentences ended. 

"It’s hard to say what happens to people after sentences end,” Gene A. Bunin, curator of the Xinjiang Victims Database, told CPJ. “A lot of people were re-sentenced for ‘disturbing supervision order.’ Those who got out in 2017-2018 were often forwarded to camp." 

As of late 2023, CPJ could not determine Halmurat’s health or whereabouts, or whether he had legal representation. 

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