Help Free Huseyin Celil, A Canadian Muslim Unjustly Arrested, Detained, Tortured, and Sentenced to Life in Prison in China

Peaceful Rally and Walk, Sunday, July 27, 1 pm Chinese Consulate, 240 St George St. (south of Dupont), Toronto, Canada
Close to Dupont subway, north of St. George subway

As the world focuses its attention on the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympic
games, help us pressure the Chinese government to return an innocent
man back to Canada. Whether you can attend the rally or not, please
send a letter to the Chinese embassy in Ottawa and consulate in Toronto
(see sample letter below)


Huseyin Celil is a member of western China’s Uyghur minority, long the
subject of Chinese repression including arbitrary detention and
imprisonment, incommunicado detention, and serious restrictions on
religious freedom as well as cultural and social rights.

Mr. Celil peacefully stood up for the human rights of his people, and
as a result was targeted for persecution. He was eventually forced to
flee China, and came to Canada with his wife and children as refugees.
They are Canadian citizens who now call Burlington, Ontario their home.

But in March, 2006, Mr. Celil was detained in Uzbekistan while on
holiday visiting his wife’s family, and handed over to Chinese police.
He was extradited to China to face trial, and was held in secrecy
without access to a lawyer, his family, or consular assistance. He was
subjected to threats that he would be ‘disappeared’ or ‘buried alive’
unless he signed a confession.

His subsequent trial did not meet international legal standards. He was
not allowed to speak on his behalf at his trial, and his lawyer was
prevented from submitting a first-hand account he had prepared in his
defence. Canadian officials were barred from attending the trial.

On April 19th, 2006, Mr. Celil was sentenced to life imprisonment in a
sham trial. Amnesty International is concerned that Mr. Celil was
wrongly convicted of political offences after an unfair trial, and
based on a confession that may have been extracted through torture.


Members of the Harper government have spoken up about the Celil case,
and both the Canadian Parliament and U.S. House of Representatives have
passed resolutions calling for his release. But more pressure needs to
be applied.

In April, 2001, Liu Jingmin, Vice President of the Beijing 2008 Olympic
Games Bid Committee, stated “By allowing Beijing to host the Games you
will help the development of human rights.”

We are hoping that from now until the end of the Olympics, people
across Canada can let the Chinese embassy in Ottawa and Toronto
consulate know that Mr. Celil is not forgotten.

Please take a few moments to write to both the ambassador and the
consul general and express your concern about Mr. Celil and ask that he
be returned to his family. If you can, please send BOTH an email and
paper copy of your letter, since paper copies of letters carry more
weight, and let us know at if you have done so. For emails,
please use Free Huseyin Celil in your subject line.

Canadian Committee to Free Huseyin Celil and Toronto Action for Social

Sample letter below (feel free to personalize it by saying who you
are–a student, a farmer, an athlete, etc.):

Mme. Zhu Taoying
Consul General of People’s Republic of China
240 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5R 2P4

H.E. Lu Shumin
Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Canada
515 St. Patrick Street, Ottawa, Ont. K1N 5H3

Dear H.E. Lu Shumin and Mme. Zhu Taoying,

I am writing to you out of concern for Canadian citizen Huseyin Celil.
This father of four is currently detained in China and, as you are no
doubt aware, international human rights organizations have raised
serious concerns about the manner in which Mr. Celil was detained, the
possible use of torture in extracting a false confession from Mr.
Celil, and the lack of international fair trial standards in the
hearing that resulted in his life sentence.

Many people in Canada are looking forward to the summer 2008 Olympic
games in China, cheering not only athletes, but the spirit of the
Olympics itself, which embraces the concept of international
cooperation and respect for the dignity of all human beings.

As the first of the Fundamental Principles of Olympism of the
International Olympic Committee states it so well, “Olympism seeks to
create a way of life based on the joy found in effort, the educational
value of good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical

While many look forward to the pageantry and drama of the Games, we
also look back to a promise made in 2001 by Liu Jingmin, Vice President
of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Bid Committee, who stated “By
allowing Beijing to host the Games you will help the development of
human rights.”

I am writing to ask that, in the Olympic spirit of respect for
fundamental ethical principles, your government exercise the kind of
humanitarian gesture that will reunite a family that for too long now
has been without their father and husband, and return Mr. Celil to

I look forward to your positive action to reconsider Mr. Celil’s case
and have him returned to his wife and children here in Canada.