CHINA: REUNITE THIS CANADIAN FAMILY
Huseyin Celil is a member of China’s Uighur minority and a human rights activist. In 2001, he fled China after being in jail for a time for supporting the religious and political rights of the Uighur people. The United Nations recognized him as a refugee.
Huseyin Celil (pronounced "Je-lil") arrived in Canada with his wife Kamila and their child in October of 2001. After they settled, two more boys were born and Huseyin became a Canadian citizen. In March 2006, when Kamila was pregnant with their fourth child, the family travelled to Uzbekistan to visit her family. That’s when things started going wrong. The police in China found out that Huseyin was in Uzbekistan, and asked the police there to arrest Huseyin. They did, and then sent him to China.
KAMILA NEEDS HER HUSBAND,
AND THE BOYS NEED
THEIR FATHER BACK.
The Chinese authorities accused Huseyin of offences related to his activities in support of Uighur rights. They held Huseyin in a secret place. They gave him no access to a lawyer, to his family, or to Canadian officials. They threatened him and forced him to sign a confession. They refused to recognize Huseyin’s status as a Canadian citizen, and they did not allow Canadian officials to attend his trial. It was not conducted fairly, and resulted in a sentence of life in prison in China. His life sentence was reduced to 20 years in February 2016.
Huseyin has spent much of his time in solitary confinement. He lacks healthy food and is in poor health. His mother and sister, who live in China, are occasionally allowed to visit him.
Kamila and her children don’t know if they will ever see Huseyin again. Kamila needs her husband, and the boys need their father back.
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