The U.S. State Department says it is concerned that three brothers of a Washington-based ethnic Uyghur journalist have been imprisoned because of his work.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki on January 8 urged Chinese authorities to "cease harassment" of the family of Shohret Hoshur, a correspondent for Radio Free Asia (RFA).
Hoshur says Chinese officials have increased pressure on his family in China's western Xinjiang Province in order to get him to stop working as a journalist.
Hoshur -- who left China in 1994 and is now a U.S. citizen -- said one of his brothers was given a five-year sentence last year for "violating state security laws" and that two other brothers were detained after discussing their brother's case with Hoshur via phone.
Uyghurs are a Muslim minority group in Xinjiang, a region that has been wracked by violent unrest.