World Bulletin/News Desk
The United States is "deeply disappointed” that Chinese authorities upheld a life sentence conviction for an outspoken ethnic minority Muslim academic, a State Department spokesman said Friday.
The Xinjiang High People’s Court on Friday upheld a decision in September to sentence Beijing-based economics professor Ilham Tohti to life in prison.
Tohti, who was jailed in January, was accused of prompting Uighur independence on websites he managed.
His lawyers said on Friday, the Chinese high court rejected the Tohti's appeal.
"His detention silenced an important Uighur voice that peacefully promoted understanding among China’s ethnic groups," said Jeff Rathke, a State Department spokesman.
Uighurs, who have settled mostly in Xinjiang province (East Turkestan) in the west, often complain of employment discrimination, religious restrictions and other poor treatment as a minority group living among the majority Han Chinese people.
"The United States remains concerned by the ongoing detention and prosecution of public interest lawyers, journalists, bloggers, religious leaders and others who challenge official Chinese policies and actions,” Rathke said. “We urge Chinese authorities to differentiate between peaceful dissent and violence extremism."
Last Mod: 21 Kasım 2014, 23:18