CFU Condemns Chinese Government for Life Sentence of Uyghur Scholar Rahile Dawut



September 21, 2023, 4:00 PM ET

Sabrina Sohail:

(650) 703-4523

Campaign For Uyghurs (CFU) is deeply disturbed by the recent news that esteemed Uyghur scholar, Professor Rahile Dawut, has been sentenced to life in prison. This is the first time that the Chinese government has officially acknowledged the life imprisonment of the Uyghur ethnographer

Professor Dawut is a prominent figure in Uyghur academia and a respected expert on Uyghur culture and folklore. She has authored numerous publications and has given lectures worldwide, shedding light on and commemorating the diverse traditions of the Uyghur community. Unfortunately, like many Uyghur intellectuals, she has been targeted by the Chinese regime and detained since December 2017 without any opportunity for due process.

According to The Dui Hua Foundation, Professor Dawut underwent a secret trial in December 2018 on charges of “splittism,” and was convicted by the Chinese government. The foundation also verified that following her unsuccessful appeal against the conviction, Professor Dawut has been serving a life sentence on charges related to endangering state security.  The Chinese Government uses this term to justify its crackdown on people they see as a threat to their “national unity,” and suppress voices that could potentially lead to any type of dissent. 

On receiving the news, Dr. Rahile Dawut’s daughter, Akida Pulat responded saying “As a daughter, the thought of my mother’s unfair imprisonment and the recent news that she is serving a life sentence brings unbearable pain and stress. The Chinese government is showing the world that they have no mercy by giving her a life sentence. I asked the Chinese authorities to show mercy and release my mother right away.”

Executive Director, Rushan Abbas, expressed deep concern regarding this situation and stated “We are devastated to hear the harsh and unjust sentence against one of the most revered Uyghur scholars. Rahile Dawut’s forced transition from a globally celebrated ethnographer to being labeled a so-called “splittist” by the Chinese government stands as a stark testament to the regime’s ongoing Uyghur genocide and suppression of Uyghur culture. We strongly condemn the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for the grave injustice Professor Dawut has been subjected to and implore the international community to join us in demanding her immediate release.” 

CFU denounces and condemns the CCP for its unjust imprisonment and severe sentencing of Professor Dawut. This abhorrent act of silencing a renowned scholar serves as a chilling reminder of the ongoing genocide and systemic human rights violations against the Uyghur people in East Turkistan. CFU calls on the international community to take urgent actions to ensure the immediate release of Professor Dawut and the millions of unjustly imprisoned Uyghur people.



Campaign for Uyhgurs

We defend the human rights of uyghur people and the free world by exposing and confronting the chinese government's genocide, and empowering uyghur women and youth in the diaspora.


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