Academic Freedom Watchdog Demands China Unconditionally Release Prominent Uyghur Scholar

Authorities in China should immediately and unconditionally release a prominent scholar of Uyghur culture who disappeared from the country’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) in December and is believed held in a political “re-education camp,” according to a watchdog for academic freedom.

Rahile Dawut, a professor of Uyghur studies at Xinjiang University in the XUAR capital Urumqi, went missing in December 2017 after informing her family that she planned to travel to Beijing.

Family members announced her disappearance in August, and suspect she is among a growing number of Uyghurs accused of harboring “strong religious views” and “politically incorrect” ideas who since April 2017 have been jailed or detained in re-education camps throughout the XUAR, where members of the ethnic group have long complained of pervasive discrimination, religious repression, and cultural suppression under Chinese rule.

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