tirsdag 24. november 2020

Where Is Uyghur Folklore Expert Rahile Dawut?

Uyghur scholar Rahile Dawut, missing since 2017, was awarded the 2020 Scholars at Risk “Courage to Think” award. His WeChat profile photo has not changed since she vanished. She is still staring up the same spiral staircase, her diminutive form and kind smile, her hallmark. All the messages we had exchanged have now gone. Every now and again I send a note hoping that something might have changed, but am blocked immediately.

Rahile Dawut, beloved guardian of Uyghur folklore and traditions and celebrated academic at home and abroad, set off for Beijing in December 2017 but has not been heard of since. She has recently joined the dubious roll call of incarcerated writers honored outside China, by becoming the recipient of this year’s Scholars at Risk “Courage to Think” award.