China sentences Uyghur academic to life in prison in Xinjiang

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September 22, 2023 | The Washington Post | By Lily Kuo

A former professor at Xinjiang University and leading scholar on Uyghur folklore, she is among more than 300 intellectuals, artists and writers believed to be detained in Xinjiang, amid a government campaign ostensibly aimed at better assimilating China’s Muslim minority and promoting ethnic harmony. Rights groups have accused the Chinese government of committing “cultural genocide” by wiping out previously vibrant local Uyghur culture.

“Confirmation of Rahile’s life sentence should give us pause to grasp the ruin visited on family lives of China’s genocide,” Uyghur Human Rights Project’s director of research, Henryk Szadziewski, said.

“The Chinese state has taken a wrecking ball to any expressions of Uyghurness outside of its purview. As a gifted academic documenting Uyghur knowledge, targeting Rahile is no coincidence.”

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