China Sentences Uighur Scholar To Life In Prison After Denying Him Access To Evidence

Profesor_Ilham_TohtiChina has continued its crackdown on political speech with a truly disgraceful trial of Uighur scholar Ilham Tohti. The prominent scholar has written about the discontent in his region and lack of rights. The Chinese declared the writings as encouraging separatism. While that would not be a crime in any free nation, China handed him a life sentence after this supporters say that he was denied food and then denied copies of the evidence used against him.

Indeed, his lawyer said that police refused to even tell Ilham Tohti why he was being detained.

In a message from the scholar, he asked his family to tell his mother that he had received only a five-year sentence. He also said that he could hear one of his students, Pahati, pounding the door and moaning in the cell next to him.

To his credit, President Obama has discussed the case. However, when those remarks were raised with Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, she reacted angrily and said some countries “made irresponsible remarks and brought up irrational requests in the name of so-called democracy and human rights, which were a harsh and unreasonable intervention over China’s internal affairs and sovereignty.” Once again, China views calls for the most basic human rights as “irrational requests.”

China’s state-controlled media also parroted the government’s position and Xinhua News Agency criticized the reference to Ilham Tohti as “a Uighur Mandela.” Xinhua said the analogy “displays not only a dangerous ignorance of history, but also a challenge to China’s determination to keep its 56 ethnic groups united.” The comment seems to struggle to show that there is even less protection of the free press as there is free speech in China.

Source: ABC News

55 thoughts on “China Sentences Uighur Scholar To Life In Prison After Denying Him Access To Evidence”

  1. Annie:

    do you discount Marx because he had a mistress and was a terrible provider for his family? I have also read he was pretty much a petty man.

    Jefferson didnt think blacks were as smart as whites, should be ignore his writings?

    People make mistakes based on knowledge but that doesnt mean the entire body of their work is incorrect. Bastiat was wrong if he didnt think women should vote, but he is sure as heck right about the fallacy of the broken window.

    1. The Broken Window

    1.6Have you ever been witness to the fury of that solid citizen, James Goodfellow,*1 when his incorrigible son has happened to break a pane of glass? If you have been present at this spectacle, certainly you must also have observed that the onlookers, even if there are as many as thirty of them, seem with one accord to offer the unfortunate owner the selfsame consolation: “It’s an ill wind that blows nobody some good. Such accidents keep industry going. Everybody has to make a living. What would become of the glaziers if no one ever broke a window?”

    1.7Now, this formula of condolence contains a whole theory that it is a good idea for us to expose, flagrante delicto, in this very simple case, since it is exactly the same as that which, unfortunately, underlies most of our economic institutions.

    1.8Suppose that it will cost six francs to repair the damage. If you mean that the accident gives six francs’ worth of encouragement to the aforesaid industry, I agree. I do not contest it in any way; your reasoning is correct. The glazier will come, do his job, receive six francs, congratulate himself, and bless in his heart the careless child. That is what is seen.

    1.9But if, by way of deduction, you conclude, as happens only too often, that it is good to break windows, that it helps to circulate money, that it results in encouraging industry in general, I am obliged to cry out: That will never do! Your theory stops at what is seen. It does not take account of what is not seen.

    1.10It is not seen that, since our citizen has spent six francs for one thing, he will not be able to spend them for another. It is not seen that if he had not had a windowpane to replace, he would have replaced, for example, his worn-out shoes or added another book to his library. In brief, he would have put his six francs to some use or other for which he will not now have them.

    1.11Let us next consider industry in general. The window having been broken, the glass industry gets six francs’ worth of encouragement; that is what is seen.

    1.12If the window had not been broken, the shoe industry (or some other) would have received six francs’ worth of encouragement; that is what is not seen.

    1.13And if we were to take into consideration what is not seen, because it is a negative factor, as well as what is seen, because it is a positive factor, we should understand that there is no benefit to industry in general or to national employment as a whole, whether windows are broken or not broken.

    1.14Now let us consider James Goodfellow.

    1.15On the first hypothesis, that of the broken window, he spends six francs and has, neither more nor less than before, the enjoyment of one window.

    1.16On the second, that in which the accident did not happen, he would have spent six francs for new shoes and would have had the enjoyment of a pair of shoes as well as of a window.

    1.17Now, if James Goodfellow is part of society, we must conclude that society, considering its labors and its enjoyments, has lost the value of the broken window.

    1.18From which, by generalizing, we arrive at this unexpected conclusion: “Society loses the value of objects unnecessarily destroyed,” and at this aphorism, which will make the hair of the protectionists stand on end: “To break, to destroy, to dissipate is not to encourage national employment,” or more briefly: “Destruction is not profitable.”

    1.19What will the Moniteur industriel*2 say to this, or the disciples of the estimable M. de Saint-Chamans,*3 who has calculated with such precision what industry would gain from the burning of Paris, because of the houses that would have to be rebuilt?

    1.20I am sorry to upset his ingenious calculations, especially since their spirit has passed into our legislation. But I beg him to begin them again, entering what is not seen in the ledger beside what is seen.

    1.21The reader must apply himself to observe that there are not only two people, but three, in the little drama that I have presented. The one, James Goodfellow, represents the consumer, reduced by destruction to one enjoyment instead of two. The other, under the figure of the glazier, shows us the producer whose industry the accident encourages. The third is the shoemaker (or any other manufacturer) whose industry is correspondingly discouraged by the same cause. It is this third person who is always in the shadow, and who, personifying what is not seen, is an essential element of the problem. It is he who makes us understand how absurd it is to see a profit in destruction. It is he who will soon teach us that it is equally absurd to see a profit in trade restriction, which is, after all, nothing more nor less than partial destruction. So, if you get to the bottom of all the arguments advanced in favor of restrictionist measures, you will find only a paraphrase of that common cliché: “What would become of the glaziers if no one ever broke any windows?”

    http://www.econlib.org/library/Bastiat/basEss1.html

  2. Annie:

    do you discount Marx because he had a mistress and was a terrible provider for his family? I have also read he was pretty much an a$$hole.

    Jefferson didnt think blacks were as smart as whites, should be ignore his writings?

    People make mistakes based on knowledge but that doesnt mean the entire body of their work is incorrect. Bastiat was wrong if he didnt think women should vote, but he is sure as heck right about the fallacy of the broken window.

    1. The Broken Window

    1.6Have you ever been witness to the fury of that solid citizen, James Goodfellow,*1 when his incorrigible son has happened to break a pane of glass? If you have been present at this spectacle, certainly you must also have observed that the onlookers, even if there are as many as thirty of them, seem with one accord to offer the unfortunate owner the selfsame consolation: “It’s an ill wind that blows nobody some good. Such accidents keep industry going. Everybody has to make a living. What would become of the glaziers if no one ever broke a window?”

    1.7Now, this formula of condolence contains a whole theory that it is a good idea for us to expose, flagrante delicto, in this very simple case, since it is exactly the same as that which, unfortunately, underlies most of our economic institutions.

    1.8Suppose that it will cost six francs to repair the damage. If you mean that the accident gives six francs’ worth of encouragement to the aforesaid industry, I agree. I do not contest it in any way; your reasoning is correct. The glazier will come, do his job, receive six francs, congratulate himself, and bless in his heart the careless child. That is what is seen.

    1.9But if, by way of deduction, you conclude, as happens only too often, that it is good to break windows, that it helps to circulate money, that it results in encouraging industry in general, I am obliged to cry out: That will never do! Your theory stops at what is seen. It does not take account of what is not seen.

    1.10It is not seen that, since our citizen has spent six francs for one thing, he will not be able to spend them for another. It is not seen that if he had not had a windowpane to replace, he would have replaced, for example, his worn-out shoes or added another book to his library. In brief, he would have put his six francs to some use or other for which he will not now have them.

    1.11Let us next consider industry in general. The window having been broken, the glass industry gets six francs’ worth of encouragement; that is what is seen.

    1.12If the window had not been broken, the shoe industry (or some other) would have received six francs’ worth of encouragement; that is what is not seen.

    1.13And if we were to take into consideration what is not seen, because it is a negative factor, as well as what is seen, because it is a positive factor, we should understand that there is no benefit to industry in general or to national employment as a whole, whether windows are broken or not broken.

    1.14Now let us consider James Goodfellow.

    1.15On the first hypothesis, that of the broken window, he spends six francs and has, neither more nor less than before, the enjoyment of one window.

    1.16On the second, that in which the accident did not happen, he would have spent six francs for new shoes and would have had the enjoyment of a pair of shoes as well as of a window.

    1.17Now, if James Goodfellow is part of society, we must conclude that society, considering its labors and its enjoyments, has lost the value of the broken window.

    1.18From which, by generalizing, we arrive at this unexpected conclusion: “Society loses the value of objects unnecessarily destroyed,” and at this aphorism, which will make the hair of the protectionists stand on end: “To break, to destroy, to dissipate is not to encourage national employment,” or more briefly: “Destruction is not profitable.”

    1.19What will the Moniteur industriel*2 say to this, or the disciples of the estimable M. de Saint-Chamans,*3 who has calculated with such precision what industry would gain from the burning of Paris, because of the houses that would have to be rebuilt?

    1.20I am sorry to upset his ingenious calculations, especially since their spirit has passed into our legislation. But I beg him to begin them again, entering what is not seen in the ledger beside what is seen.

    1.21The reader must apply himself to observe that there are not only two people, but three, in the little drama that I have presented. The one, James Goodfellow, represents the consumer, reduced by destruction to one enjoyment instead of two. The other, under the figure of the glazier, shows us the producer whose industry the accident encourages. The third is the shoemaker (or any other manufacturer) whose industry is correspondingly discouraged by the same cause. It is this third person who is always in the shadow, and who, personifying what is not seen, is an essential element of the problem. It is he who makes us understand how absurd it is to see a profit in destruction. It is he who will soon teach us that it is equally absurd to see a profit in trade restriction, which is, after all, nothing more nor less than partial destruction. So, if you get to the bottom of all the arguments advanced in favor of restrictionist measures, you will find only a paraphrase of that common cliché: “What would become of the glaziers if no one ever broke any windows?”

    http://www.econlib.org/library/Bastiat/basEss1.html

  3. John Bachelor is saying the Chinese government has on the spot punishment, extra judicial killing by the police if the suspect protests in any way.

  4. Wait. I should be happy legal rights CAN be taken away? Taking away legal rights keeps the society from devolving into chaos? Is this upside world? Olly, it’s not me that twisting into a pretzel here. Oy.

  5. You need to read your own words: “So sadly I must say that there are no rights that cannot be legally taken away.” You are twisting yourself into a pretzel.

    You should be happy legal rights can be taken away. That’s what keeps society from devolving into chaos. It’s being sad that you have NO RIGHTS that cannot be legally taken away, that you were talking about.

  6. Bastiat says women shouldn’t have the vote, puts women in same category as children who are incompetant to vote. Sorry Olly, he lost me. Do you believe women should be denied the vote?!

  7. Olly, did you think I was happy that legal rights could be taken away? Sure I’ll check out the book.

  8. Annie,
    If you are truly “sad” that there are no rights that cannot be legally taken away then you would enjoy reading Frederic Bastiat’s “The Law”. Don’t get wrapped up in his reference to God; we know we can reason our way to the existence of rights.

    Here is a link if you’re interested: http://bastiat.org/en/the_law.html

  9. Olly,
    Has the right to Liberty been taken away? Yes.
    Has the right to Life been taken away? Yes.
    Has the right to the Pursuit of Happiness been taken away? Yes.

    Therefore I must deduce that rights can be taken away. So sadly I must say there are rights that there are no rights that cannot be legally taken away. If I had a wish, an “oughtta be”, it would be that there were unalienable rights.

    As I quoted upstream “Rights that are theoretical are practically useless”.

    I don’t think either of us can go on to keep debating this. I won’t or can’t pretend that these ethereal rights exist. BUT THEY SHOULD.

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