Beijing denies executing Uyghur scholar as global concerns grow

AFP reports:

China denied on Friday (December 27) that detained Uyghur 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 Gěng Shuǎng 耿爽 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.”

Geng Shuang did not produce any evidence that Tashpolat Tiyip is still alive. Meanwhile, despite a concerted blast of propaganda from the Chinese government, global concerns about its treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities continue to grow. This week, there are noises from Muslim-majority countries that have up till recently been quiet:

“The Malaysian Consultative Council of Islamic Organization was outraged by the recent report in the Daily Mail [also circulated on various Middle Eastern websites] that China will rewrite the Bible and the Quran to ‘reflect socialist values’ amid crackdown on Muslim Uyghur minority,” reports Malaysia’s New Straits Times:

Its president Mohd Azmi Abd Hamid, in a statement, demanded the Chinese authorities to explain on the report…

If the reports are true this is a clear afront to Islam and will never be tolerated, Mohd Azmi said, adding that even Christians will despise this as an intrusion of religion by the communist party.

“The re-writing of the Quran will be seen as a war against Islam and Muslims around the world will definitely stand up to rebuke this policy.

“We remind China not to cross the redline. The already massive repression of Uyghur Muslims has been heavily criticized by the international community and the Muslims will not tolerate such abusive policy to alter the most sacred text of Islam.”

 

“Kuwaiti lawmakers have called on their government to intervene to stop persecution of Muslims in East Turkestan and India,” reports Turkey’s Anadolu.

A group of 27 MPs signed a statement in which they underlined solidarity with Uyghur Muslims against China’s systematic campaign against their community.

“More than a dozen British parliamentarians have called on the country’s foreign secretary to exclude Huawei Technologies from building Britain’s 5G network over the company’s alleged links to the troubled Chinese region of Xinjiang,” reports the South China Morning Post.

—Jeremy Goldkorn