Xinjiang Authorities Jail Prominent Uyghur Television Host

Authorities in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) have jailed the Uyghur former host of a popular children’s television show, according to sources, who said he was targeted for producing a program that detailed the financial struggles of three young students.

A source with ties to the XUAR recently told RFA’s Uyghur Service that Erkin Tursun, the host of the “Hopeful Eyes” show on the official Ili Television Station in the XUAR’s Ili Kazakh (in Chinese, Yili Hasake) Autonomous Prefecture, was arrested by police in Ghulja (Yining) county in March and later sentenced to as many as 11 years in prison.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that after Tursun produced a program last year to public acclaim entitled “The World is Beautiful and Filled With Love and Care”—documenting the bid by three Uyghur children to attain an education in the face of poverty— “Hopeful Eyes” was shut down and he became the key figure in an investigation by local authorities.

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