Specific details are emerging about an alarming number of university professors within China’s Uyghur minority who have been imprisoned or have forcibly disappeared since April 2017 as part of a major government crackdown on Uyghurs. According to a new report released this week by Uyghur Human Rights Project (URHP), the Chinese government has interned, imprisoned, or forcibly disappeared at least 338 intellectuals, among them “an alarming 61 university professors” and some 96
As concerned scholars who study China, the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), Central Asia, and other related regions of the world, we issue this statement to highlight our concerns and to call the international community to action in relation to the mass human rights abuses and deliberate attacks on indigenous cultures presently taking place in China’s XUAR. The signatories to this statement are united in viewing the present situation in the region of China as one of
At least five ethnic Uyghur professors from Xinjiang University in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) are being held in political “re-education camps,” according to one of their former colleagues. Qutluq Almas, a former lecturer at Xinjiang University who lives in exile in the US, recently posted a message on social media saying that sources inside the region had confirmed to him that literature professors Abdukerim Rahman, Rahile Dawut, Azat Sultan, and Gheyretjan
Hu Jia, a Chinese human rights activist and critic of the Communist Party of China, has closely followed the case of Ilham Tohti, an outspoken economics professor who regularly highlighted the religious and cultural persecution of the mostly Muslim Uyghur ethnic minority. Tohti was sentenced to life in prison for promoting ethnic separatism on September 23, 2014 after a two-day show trial. He is serving his sentence in No.1 Prison in Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur
On July 10, 2018, Chinese authorities finally ended their de facto house arrest of Liu Xia, a painter, poet, and the widow of Liu Xiaobo—China’s most famous activist, Nobel Laureate, and social research author. She was allowed to leave China after almost eight years of living under house arrest, days before the anniversary of her husband’s death. Despite facing no charges, the 57-year-old poet has endured heavy restrictions on her movements since 2010 when her husband won the
Liu Xia, the widow of the Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, arrived in Berlin, having left Beijing after almost eight years of living under house arrest. Despite facing no charges, the 57-year-old poet has endured heavy restrictions on her movements since 2010 when her husband won the Nobel Peace Prize, an award that infuriated Beijing. Her husband, Liu Xiaobo, died of liver cancer last July at 61. He was a writer, critic, and activist who called for political reforms and an end
Less than four months after the death from liver cancer of scholar, writer, and Nobel Peace Laureate Liu Xiaobo, another Chinese dissident has died on medical parole. Yang Tongyan, recipient of the 2008 PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award, passed away on November 7, 2017, less than three months after his release from Nanjing Prison on medical parole in August following his diagnosis with an aggressive form of brain cancer. Yang was convicted in 2006 for posting antig
Friends of China's most prominent dissident Liu Xiaobo have accused the Chinese Government of violating human rights after the activist died of multiple organ failures brought on by liver cancer. 61-year-old Liu was a prominent participant in the Tiananmen prodemocracy protests of 1989 and continued to call for political reform with his 2008 charter before being arrested. While in custody in 2010, he won the Nobel Peace Prize which was awarded to an empty chair in his absence
Friends of China’s most famous political prisoner, the Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo, have issued a plea to Chinese authorities to be allowed one final audience with the dying activist. The Chinese democracy campaigner, who was diagnosed with late-stage liver cancer in May after more than seven years in prison, appears to be nearing the end of his life. Family friends and doctors said on Thursday the 61-year-old’s condition had worsened and he was close to death. Liu is reportedl
Chinese Nobel Peace Laureate Liu Xiaobo has been released from prison on medical parole after being diagnosed with terminal liver cancer. Liu, 61, was a key leader in the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. He was arrested in 2008 after penning a prodemocracy manifesto called Charter 08, in which he called for an end to one-party rule and improvements in human rights. Following a year in detention and a two-hour trial, he was sentenced in December 2009 to 11 years in prison f
An Australian academic researching human rights and barred from leaving China by state security agents on suspicion of endangering national security has been told not to reveal the details of his ordeal. Chongyi Feng, a professor at the University of Technology, Sydney, was stopped twice at immigration checkpoints at Guangzhou airport while attempting to take flights to Australia, his lawyer said. He has not been formally detained or arrested and is still living at his hotel
The daughter of jailed Uyghur academic Ilham Tohti has spoken out in support of his peaceful promotion of equal rights and greater autonomy for the Turkic-speaking Uyghur ethnic group in China. After her father, who is currently serving a life sentence for "separatism," won the prestigious 2016 Martin Ennals Award, Jewher Ilham said the following:
First of all I'd like to say that this is definitely a human rights issue we are talking about, because [my father] is someone wh
Six years after winning the Nobel Peace Prize, jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo seems unlikely to be given a chance to "seek medical parole" overseas as high-profile dissidents have done before him, a close associate told Radio Free Europe. Liu Xiaobo, 60, is a Chinese literary critic, writer, professor, and human rights activist who called for political reforms and the end of communist single-party rule. He is currently incarcerated as a political prisoner in Jinzhou Pris
A Chinese court sentenced lawyer Zhou Shifeng to seven years in prison. Zhou’s Beijing-based law firm, Fengrui, has defended some of China’s most politically sensitive figures, including dissident artist Ai Weiwei and members of the banned Falun Gong religious group. The firm also represented Ilham Tohti, an economics professor and ethnic rights activist from China’s Uighur minority group who was sentenced to life in prison in 2014 for inciting ethnic hatred. Zhou was a targe
According to Radio Free Asia, the family of jailed Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti is facing extreme hardship and increasing isolation as his wife struggles to raise her young sons in Beijing.
Guzelnur has been left with scant income to care for her children while her husband serves a life sentence for "separatism." "Sometimes I get financial help from friends or relatives, but they've got their own kids too, and their own expenses to meet," she said in an interview. "I make 3,
Authorities in Northwestern China’s troubled Xinjiang region have given permission for relatives of jailed Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti to visit him in prison.
"[His brother] is getting ready to visit him in Urumqi," Tohti's wife, Guzelnur, told Radio Free Europe. "This will be the third [family] visit."
Guzelnur, who has been left with very little income to care for the couple's young sons in Beijing, said she is currently feeling unwell and will be unable to make the trip t
The trial of Chinese lawyer Pu Zhiqiang drew condemnation from human rights groups and foreign diplomats on Monday. Pu joins a long list of civil society activists, free-speech advocates, feminists, and intellectuals who have been detained, arrested, or sent to prison in China over the recent years as Communist Party authorities have cracked down on acts of dissent. Authorities have leveled various charges at the activists such as advocating separatism, inciting subversion of
Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti was sentenced to life in prison on September 2014 for advocating basic economic, cultural, religious, and political rights for the Uyghur people. Reports have emerged that the academic has asked his mother and brother to help him appeal his case. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom has also recently taken a stand on the issue. To learn more about Tohti, please follow this link to a short documentary. The article below was published
The Chinese authorities have denied the relatives of jailed Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti permission to visit him or to send him clothing and money in prison. Tohti, the former professor of the Central University for Nationalities in Beijing, was convicted last September on charges of separatism, charges he has repeatedly denied. Tohti claims that his case is politically motivated. Since his arrest, he has been deprived of political rights, and all his assets have been confiscat