LSA Executive Director Alyson Reed sent a letter today to the Chinese President asking him to to investigate the situation surrounding the arrest in Xinjiang China of Uyghur linguist and educator, Abduweli Ayup. Reed asked President Xi Jinping to explain publicly the circumstances of Abduweli Ayup’s arrest and, pending his immediate release, to ensure that his case proceeds in a manner consistent with China’s obligations under international law, in particular internationally recognized standards of due process, fair trial, free expression and freedom of association, and to ensure Abduweli Ayup’s well-being in custody, including disclosure of his current location and access to counsel and family.

Abduweli Ayup is a Uyghur linguist and educator in Xinjiang, China, who has been detained since August 20, 2013. Mr. Ayup, the recipient of a Ford Foundation Scholarship, earned a Master’s Degree in Linguistics from the University of Kansas in 2011. Upon graduation, he returned to Xinjiang with the hope of establishing a Uyghur Language school so that Uyghur students would have an opportunity to develop academic proficiency in their native language. Mr. Ayup’s school proved to be popular, and he was preparing to open a Uyghur Language kindergarten before his arrest. Today, he is being held on unknown charges.

Linguists wishing to show support for Abduweli Ayup may write letters to all of the government officials listed in the LSA letter, or sign this petition created by a colleague.