Chinese Authorities Formally Arrest Uighur Scholar Ilham Tohti

Chinese authorities formally arrested prominent Uighur scholar Ilham Tohti, charging him with “secession” in relation to his public advocacy of Uighur rights. Beijing police detained him at his home over a month ago and then held him at a detention center in Xinjiang before formally leveling charges. If convicted, Tohti faces a sentence ranging from 10 years to life in prison. The crime of secession is also punishable by death.

Prominent Uighur Scholar Detained for "Breaking the Law"

Chinese authorities detained Uighur scholar Ilham Tohti for “breaking the law.” Many regard Tohti, an economics professor at Beijing’s Minzu University, as the country’s most high-profile Uighur academic. Tohti’s arrest is part of Chairman Xi Jinping’s recent broader crackdown in China’s restive Xinjiang province. State media has characterized this repressive campaign as a “strategy shift” from development to maintaining stability.