Muslim Council of Montreal expressed deep concern over case of Canadian man imprisoned unjustly in China

April 23, 2007

Montreal, Quebec, April 23, 2007- The Muslim Council of Montreal (MCM) calls on the Chinese government to uphold human rights and international agreements in the matter of Huseyin Celil, a Chinese Canadian who is sentenced to a life in a Chinese prison.

“The Chinese government must be called to account for their shameful actions,” stated Salam Elmenyawi, president of MCM. “They are wrong to suggest that this is a domestic matter for the Chinese government. Rather this is a matter of concern for all Canadians and all people around the world who care for human rights and justice. ”

MCM thanks Mr. Stephen Harper and Mr. Peter MacKay for all their efforts thus far in advocating on behalf of Mr. Celil. MCM trusts the Canadian government will continue to pressure Chinese authorities to uphold justice and release Mr. Celil.

“We should not be forced into silence in fear of jeopardizing trade relations,” Elmenyawi said. “This is not a matter of money, it is a matter of human life. We will continue to speak out and protest until Mr. Celil is released. He has already suffered much persecution at the hands of the Chinese government and we must not allow this oppression to continue any longer. We urge Mr. MacKay, who is traveling to China this week, to press the Chinese government to secure the release of Mr. Celil.”

Huseyin Celil fled from China’s persecuted Uighur Muslim community to Canada in 2001. He was detained while visiting Uzbekistan in March 2006 and illegally extradited to China, where he was recently sentenced to serve life in prison.