China: Uighur Christian faces trial for 'revealing state secrets'

The trial of Alimujiang Yimiti will take place at the Intermediate People’s court of Kashgar, according to China Aid Association. His wife and mother have been told by authorities that they will not be allowed to attend and that he will not be released without charges.

Those close to the case maintain the reason for Mr Yimiti’s imprisonment is his Christian faith and witness among Uighur people.

Mr Yimiti is charged with instigating separatism and stealing, penetrating, purchasing and illegally providing state secrets or intelligence to overseas organisations and individuals.

Prior to his arrest, he worked as a project manager for Jirehouse, a British company, which in September 2007 was targeted in a series of closures of foreign companies belonging to Christians in Xinijang.

The Chinese government initially accused him of illegal religious infiltration. These charges were later changed. Those close to MrYimiti have consistently claimed that there was never any proof of wrongdoing and that he would not have had access to state secrets as an agricultural worker.

Earlier this year, following CSW’s submission of the case, a UN Working Group defined Mr Yimiti’s detention as “arbitrary”, contravening various rights entailed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Working Group also concluded that Mr Yimiti was detained on account of his faith and called upon the Chinese government to “take the necessary steps to remedy the situation”.

CSW’s Advocacy Director, Alexa Papadouris said: “CSW urgently calls on the Chinese Government for the immediate release of Alimujiang Yimiti. His case symbolises the continuing repression of Christians in China and is a sign of the wider human rights violations still taking place.

"Only last month dozens of people were killed and hundreds remain in prison as a result of clashes between ethnic groups in Xinjiang.”