Uighur scholar Ilham Tohti sentenced

September 23, 2014 12:41 PM

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Uighur scholar Ilham Tohti sentenced

The ruling by a court in Urumqi, the capital of his native region of Xinjiang, was harsher than many had expected but in line with a recent trend of repression of activists in China. Mr Tohti (pictured above) is an economist who had been teaching at Minzu University in Beijing. He has long been considered a moderate voice for Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking mostly Muslim minority, many of whom feel economically disadvantaged by China’s ethnic policies.

Though he has always advocated nonviolence and says he opposes separatism, Mr Tohti appears to be paying a price for a series of episodes of violent unrest involving Uighurs. These include acts of terrorism both in Xinjiang and in other parts of China that, although crude in nature, are said by the ...

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