Post Tagged with: "Outspoken Economist Presumed Held"
RFA 2009.07.08 An outspoken economist belonging to the Uyghur ethnic minority is presumed to be detained after police surrounded his home in Beijing. HONG KONG—An outspoken economist from China’s Uyghur ethnic minority, whose blog was cited for allegedly instigating deadly ethnic clashes in Xinjiang, has gone silent and his whereabouts are unknown after he reported police had summoned him from his Beijing home. “Police have been watching my home for two days now,” Ilham Tohti, an economics professor at the Central Nationalities University in Beijing, said July 7 in a telephone interview, two days after deadly clashes in the northwestern city of Urumqi killed at least 156 people. “They are calling me now, and I have to go. I may be out of touch for some time,” he told RFA’s Uyghur service. “I wasn’t involved in anything, but I am not safe. The police are calling me,” Tohti said, and then hung up. Subsequent phone calls rang unanswered. On July 6, he told RFA’s Cantonese service that he had gathered information on the clashes but wouldn’t release it because the timing was too sensitive. Uyghur Online publishes in Chinese and Uyghur and is widely seen as a moderate, intellectual Web site addressing social issues. Authorities have closed it on several previous occasions. Tohti’s blog, Uyghur Online, was specifically targeted in a July 5 speech by the governor of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), Nur Bekri, as an instigator of the clashes, along with exiled Uyghur leader Rebiya Kadeer. Tohti’s last blog entry, published through a U.S. server at 10:52 a.m. Beijing time July 7 and now blocked inside China, reads: “As the editor of Uyghur Online, I want only to tell Nur Bekri, ‘You are right, everything you say is right, because you will decide everything. I have already […]