Tashpolat Tiyip: The Uighur leading geographer who vanished in China

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UNTIL 2017, Tashpolat Tiyip was a model academic, head of Xinjiang University, globally-connected, and with an honorary degree from a prestigious Paris university.

But that year, without warning, he disappeared, with no word from officials. His friends believe that after a secret trial, Prof Tiyip was convicted of separatism and sentenced to death.

Prof Tiyip is a Muslim Uighur, and rights groups say he was caught up in wider persecution of Uighur intellectuals as China tackles what it says is a separatist, terrorist threat.

“There are hundreds of Uighur academics and professionals swept up into this mass internment campaign,” Michael Caster, a researcher and author of The People’s Republic of the Disappeared, told the BBC.

“This is targeting community, cultural, and intellectual leaders; it is tantamount to cultural genocide.”

Fellow academics fear that if he is still alive and detained, Prof Tayip faces imminent execution.

Read More: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-49956088
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