The daughter of detained Uyghur academic Ilham Tohti told U.S. lawmakers Tuesday that Beijing has alienated itself from the minority group by arresting her father despite his peaceful promotion of equal rights and greater autonomy.
Tohti, an outspoken professor at Beijing’s Central University for Nationalities, was detained on separatism charges in January and has been held incommunicado since.
His daughter Jewher Ilham, 19, who lives in the U.S. as a student, told members of Congress at a hearing in Washington that the charges against him were “utterly false.”
“In fact, he is exactly the sort of person a rational Chinese political structure would seek to engage with in order to address the conditions of the Uyghur people,” she said.
“Instead, by arresting my father and threatening him with charges that carry the severest of penalties, it has driven many Uyghurs to a point at which they can’t even imagine that their wholly justified grievances can get any sort of a hearing under Chinese rule.”…[…]
Daughter of Jailed Academic Says China Deaf to Uyghur Grievances