Ilham Tohti To Be Tried Wednesday

Ilham Tohti To Be Tried Wednesday

The trial of Uyghur scholar and activist Ilham Tohti has been scheduled for next Wednesday, September 17. Ilham Tohti has been detained since January, and was formally charged with separatism in July. In meetings with his lawyer, he has complained of mistreatment and earlier held a ten-day hunger strike to protest his conditions. According to his lawyer Li Fangping, prison authorities have been holding Ilham Tohti in ankle shackles for over a month. AP reports:

Authorities put shackles on Tohti’s ankles on Aug. 9, and they have remained there ever since, even when he goes to sleep, he told Li.

The prosecuting attorney’s office argued that Tohti should be restricted because he had coughed to disturb fellow inmates, which led to scuffles with them, according to Li, who has reviewed materials provided by the prosecutors.

Calls to the Urumqi police and its detention center rang unanswered on Thursday.

Shortly after he was detained, Tohti went on a hunger strike for 10 days in January to protest being served food that did not follow Islamic dietary laws, Li has said. [Source]

Ilham Tohti has denied the charges against him and explains the motivations and goals behind his activism in a 2011 biographical essay. Read more by and about Ilham Tohti via CDT.


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