China opened separatism trials for seven students of jailed Uighur scholar Ilham Tohti on Tuesday, a human rights lawyer said, the latest developments in a legal drama in the Xinjiang region that has drawn criticism from the West.
Seven students of Ilham Tohti, an imprisoned ethnic Uighur professor, went on trial on Tuesday in the western Chinese region of Xinjiang on charges of being members of a separatist group, said Li Fangping, a lawyer for Mr. Tohti.
Ambitious and fluent in Mandarin, the young Uighur strivers from the Xinjiang region of northwest China had earned coveted slots at the nation’s top university for ethnic minorities. Most were the first in their families to attend college.
A court Friday upheld the separatism conviction and life sentence for a noted scholar from China's Muslim Uighur minority who frequently criticized the government while advocating ethnic pride and greater economic opportunity.
Chinese prosecutors could upgrade the charges against a prominent human rights lawyer, saying that he incited "ethnic hatred and discrimination" when he wrote a microblog post criticizing the government's account of a mass knife attack, his lawyer said on Thursday.
A new report from the Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP), To Strike The Strongest Blow: Questions Remain Over Crackdown On 2009 Unrest In Urumchi, details widespread human rights violations committed by the People’s Republic of China in the wake of unrest in Urumchi on July 5, 2009.