China Charges Uighur Scholar Ilham Tohti With Separatism

TIME

The prominent Uighur scholar Ilham Tohti was charged with separatism on Wednesday, amid a period of violent unrest in China’s far-western region of Xinjiang.

Tohti is an outspoken critic of Beijing’s claimed battle against a terrorist insurgency in his restive home region, where the Muslim Uighur community is blaming the central government for infringing on their rights. Recent months have been plagued by violent incidents related to Xinjiang, with dozens of people losing their lives or getting injured just in the past week.

The professor of economics at Beijing’s Minzu University has been detained since January. His lawyer Li Fangping was not allowed to see his client until June and found out about the indictment first when prosecutors in Xinjiang’s capital Urumqi posted it online, the Guardian reports.

“The procuratorate has failed to follow the proper procedure of informing the defense lawyer of their decision to formally charge Ilham Tohti…

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