China denies detained Uighur academic was sentenced to death


  • China
  • Friday, 27 Dec 2019

China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang says former Xinjiang University president Tashpolat Tiyip's case is still ongoing. - AP

BEIJING (AFP): China denied on Friday (Dec 27) that detained Uighur academic Tashpolat Tiyip was secretly tried and sentenced to death, after UN experts demanded answers from Beijing.

The foreign ministry said former Xinjiang University president Tiyip's case was still ongoing and his rights had been "protected in accordance with the law".

Tiyip was "suspected of corruption and bribery," foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a regular briefing Friday.

Amnesty International said in September that it feared Tiyip, a prominent geographer, faced imminent execution after being "convicted in a secret and grossly unfair trial".

Tiyip was believed to have been convicted of "separatism" after being "forcibly disappeared" in 2017, although little information was available about his detention, according to Amnesty International.

A group of United Nations special rapporteurs said Thursday in an article published by the UN that they were concerned by the uncertainty surrounding Tiyip's trial and the charges he faced.

The experts said they had asked Beijing for clarification on Tiyip's current location and situation and also called for his family to be allowed to visit him.

The UN experts said that "incommunicado detention, enforced disappearances and secret trials have no place in a country governed by the rule of law".

Geng on Friday hit back, saying China urges the UN to "avoid interfering in countries' internal affairs, and avoid interfering in countries' judicial sovereignty". - AFP

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