Beijing [China]: A Uyghur lecturer has been sentenced to 13 years in prison in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region [XUAR], said a media report citing a security officer at the university where he worked.
Ababekri Abdureshid, who studied for a year as a visiting scholar in Germany in 2012, was apprehended in early 2018 after returning to Xinjiang, reported Radio Free Asia citing Abdureshid’s friend and former colleague Husenjan who lives in exile in Norway.
“I got the news from a very close colleague of Ababekri Abdureshid that he was sentenced to over 10 years in prison. [He] published academic articles on Uyghur culture and literature in both regional and national magazines,” the media outlet quoted Husenjan as saying.
Notably, while in Germany, Abdureshid once visited Turkey and met with colleagues there to exchange views on research topics, according to Husenjan, who cited the scholar’s connections to colleagues and friends in Germany and Turkey as a reason for his detention by authorities in Xinjiang.
However, the exact reason for Abdureshid’s arrest is not known yet. “He was sentenced to 13 years in prison, I believe. We don’t know anything about this man’s case,” said the security officer at Xinjiang Normal University where Abdureshid worked.
Meanwhile, justifying the unwarranted detentions, a Chinese judicial official Bayin’gholin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture has said that the Chinese government had sent people who returned from studies in foreign countries to “re-education centres”.
Notably, in a campaign to control members of the mostly Muslim minority group and, purportedly, to prevent religious extremism and terrorist activities, Chinese authorities have arrested numerous Uyghur intellectuals, businessmen, and cultural and religious figures in Xinjiang.
More than 1.8 million Uyghurs and other Turkic minorities are believed to have been held in a network of detention camps in Xinjiang since 2017, according to the media outlet.
The Chinese government has publicly refuted any reports of human rights abuses in Xinjiang, however, China has been rebuked globally for the crackdown on Uyghur Muslims by sending them to mass detention camps, interfering in their religious activities, and sending members of the community to undergo some form of forcible re-education or indoctrination. (ANI)