tirsdag 10. august 2021

Uyghur Linguistics Professor Serving 15-Year Sentence in Xinjiang

A German-educated Uyghur researcher and professor of linguistics has been detained since 2018 in northwestern China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and is serving a 15-year sentence on unknown charges, RFA confirmed last week. Award-winning academic Nabijan Habibullah had worked at universities in the XUAR and Beijing after he returned from graduate studies in Germany in 2014, coming back against the advice of friends who warned about rising pressure on Uyghurs, according to sources inside the region and an exiled scholar.

He was sentenced to 15 years in prison in March, according to Abduweli Ayup, a Norway-based activist and linguist who said he received information about the detained academic in July from close friends of Habibullah both in the XUAR and abroad. “Through related channels, we heard that Nabijan Habibullah was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment in March of this year,” he said.

Habibullah, 38, was a former student of Arslan Abdulla, one of a number of instructors from Xinjiang University who were detained when Chinese authorities began rounding up Uyghur intellectuals and other cultural figures in 2016, Abduweli said.