Update on Uyghur in Uzbekistan, Husein Dzhelil or Celil

I received this from Canada's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in response to my letter about Husein Celil. This is the first time I have received a response from authorities when I've written about a prisoner of conscience. Of course the difference here is that Canada is not the perpetrator in this case, but rather trying to free Husein Celil. Still, I am impressed that Canada took the time to respond to me. Here you can read about Husein Celil and email/mail your own letters on his behalf, to Canada (where he is a citizen) and Uzbekistan (where he is being held and likely to be extradited to China for execution).
I would be curious to hear whether other activists have received responses from authorities concerning any human rights concerns.
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0G2

May 15, 2006

Ms. Celia Llopis-Jepsen

Dear Ms. Llopis-Jepsen:

This is in response to your email of April 26, 2006, in which you
express concerns regarding the detention of Mr. Huseyincan Celil, in Uzbekistan.

I wish to assure you that officials of Foreign Affairs Canada in
Tashkent, Uzbekistan, in Moscow, Russia, and in Ottawa, are aware of Mr. Celil's case and have been working tirelessly towards a resolution. Officials are actively continuing their diplomatic efforts and are in regular communication with Mr. Celil's family.

The Consular Affairs Bureau is mandated by the Privacy Act, which
prohibits the disclosure of personal information by a government department or agency unless the consent of the individual(s) who are the subject of the information has been obtained. Any personal information cannot be disclosed to unauthorized parties without the explicit consent of the individual(s) concerned.

As you can appreciate, the Canadian government has a legal obligation to safeguard the privacy of Canadian citizens. We would like to stress, however, that the Government of Canada is pursuing this matter very seriously in order to bring an end to Mr. Celil's detention in Uzbekistan.

Thank you for writing and taking the time to express your concerns.

Yours sincerely,

Janice Hayes
Ministerial Correspondence Division

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