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. Yes indeed Olly, all manner of rights have been alienated by man. At least there is legal recourse when this happens in our form of government.

  2. Annie,
    You seem to be doing a lot of mental gymnastics to avoid calling them “natural”. As long as you believe these rights are “creations” of Man then you must realize Man can also “legitimately” take them away. All it takes is a culture and/or government that doesn’t believe in those rights any longer and *POOF*, you’re ISIS.

    If you believe that once Man reasoned the rights into existence, that henceforth no Man or Government can legitimately take them away, then you have just described the Enlightenment. If not, then you are simply wishing on fairy dust in the hopes that evil will be exorcised from human nature.

  3. Karen, My daughter is a nanny for 2 girls. She took them to see Frozen and it was their first time @ a movie theatre. My daughter said it was just a wonderful experience. Mom bought the movie for the girls and they sing the song all the time. With all the junk that comes out of Hollywood, it is nice to have something inspiring for kids.

  4. Olly, the closest I can get to describing where these rights come from before they’re made into law is this from the article, “Human conscience”, because we desire to be decent, civilized and feel empathy toward one another. These rights come from us, from ourselves in this world, from our minds. The rights didn’t exist before we thought them. WE created these rights, we humans, IMO.

  5. And Olly, I believe Legal rights as evidenced in Positive Law make those ethereal ‘rights’ become real things that are actionable if they are violated.

  6. Olly, I believe in universal rights. I just don’t buy your notion that they come from nature or from God. I believe in rights just because it is decent, kind, civilized. I just assign do not assign a SOURCE for these universal rights.

  7. MA,
    I appreciate your comment and I hope it reaches those that my comment(s) were *sarcastically* directed at. A few of our regular bloggers DO deny the relationship because they do not believe in natural rights. They have put forward ALL rights come through a government representative of the will of the people.

  8. Olly:

    Your comment demonstrates a woeful misunderstanding of legal positivism and its relation to justice. All normative laws incorporate legislative views of morality. Properly understood, legal positivism does not deny the interrelationship between legislation and natural rights. It argues instead that analysis of the validity of a law does not require going outside of the system of jurisprudence in which that law exists.

  9. Thank you Daren…I was reposting as you recovered it I suspect. I didn’t see my request for help either and did not know you were that quick. Thanks again.

  10. Trying it again, since two have gone down the hole now…

    It appears China has harsh methods for dealing with Uyghurs, who are mostly Sunni Muslim. Does anyone know if Ilham Tohti is in fact a Sunni Muslim? Did I miss that facet in the article?

  11. It appears China has harsh methods for dealing with uppity Uyghurs, who are mostly Sunni Muslim. Does anyone know if Ilham Tohti is in fact a Sunni Muslim? Did I miss that facet in the article?

  12. Nick – I love that song! My favorite part of the movie is that mad sleigh ride, “You got engaged to a man you just met?!”

  13. The Legal Positivists are notably silent in their defense of a government exercising it’s legitimate authority. Maybe they don’t like the results but when you deny the existence of natural rights then this result is not unexpected.

    Stand up and be counted; be proud. This is what you’re “principles” represent.

  14. Karen, that is a figment of your imagination or an outright lie. I have criticized China many many times on this blog. I have spoke about my son in law who owns a factory in China and how even he says the workers are mistreated. Karen you do NOT get to assign what you THINK people said to them. That is either dishonest or just plain odd. I have never ever said one positive thing about China.

Comments are closed.