‘Purify’ or perish: the vulnerable lives of China’s Uyghur scholars

Hong Kong Free Press

November 10, 2018 | Hong Kong Free Press | By Henryk Szadziewski

On a cold December day in 2013, Mutellip Imin, a 25-year-old Uyghur student from Hotan, changed his life. He collected four handwritten signs he had made, went to a road near his home, and took four photographs of himself holding each message in turn. Bare poplar trees skirt the road on either side, a dusting of frost lies on the ground, and loudspeakers sit atop a pole. The messages on the pieces of paper are as stark as the landscape. Penned in four languages, the one in English simply reads: “Human rights for the victims of enforced disappearances! (Dec. 10, 2013).”

The same day, Mutellip uploaded the photographs to his blog and published an account of his 79-day-long enforced disappearance earlier that year. Mutellip went missing after he was detained while boarding a plane from Beijing to Turkey in July 2013. He was returning to Istanbul University to resume his master’s degree studies. On January 15, 2014, police arrested him. By December 2014, he had been tried and convicted on charges of “separatism,” then handed an undisclosed prison sentence.

Read the full op-ed here: https://hongkongfp.com/2018/11/10/purify-perish-vulnerable-lives-chinas-uyghur-scholars/