The Media Review Network deplores escalation of repression against Uighur Muslims in China.
We also express our dismay that their plight is not adequately spotlighted in mainstream media.
In the latest incident a well-known academic and economist Ilham Tohti, who is a professor in Beijing’s prestigious Minzu University, has been detained and denied access to legal representation.
He faces charges of inciting “separatism” for pressing for Uighur rights.
Uighurs are Turkic-speaking inhabitants of China’s remote western region of Xinjiang. It is crippled with poverty and subject to wide scale oppression directly related to them being Muslim. Its population of about 9 million fear loss of livelihood and face sporadic attacks on their traditional practice of Islam.
Tohti has been detained since Jan 15, 2014 and charged for allegedly colluding with so-called “extremist” groups to seek independence for Xinjiang. “Separatism” is punishable by death in China.
Tohti is on record to have advocated rights for Uighurs guaranteed them by the Chinese Constitution, which prohibits discrimination against any ethnic group and preserves freedom of religious beliefs.
We condemn the Chinese authorities for disrespecting and dishonoring Islam by insisting that the interior of Mosques be adorned by Chinese flags, thus forcing worshippers to bow and face the flag in the direction of Mecca.
We call on the People’s Republic of China to respect the rights of Uighurs and to take urgent steps to restore their dignity.
We also demand the immediate release of Tohti and all Uighur political prisoners.
We further call on the South African government to intervene in this matter by insisting that China’s oppression of Uighur Muslims be halted without delay.
Executive Member: Media Review Network
Twitter : @ijassat
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