A leading Uighur scholar has been sentenced to life in prison in China, representing the Chinese government’s harshest treatment of a political dissident in recent years, The New York Times reports.
Ilham Tohti, who teaches economics at Minzu University, was found guilty of separatism and sentenced on Tuesday. He was to have become a visiting scholar at Indiana University at Bloomington before he was prevented from leaving China last year. He was arrested this year.
Mr. Tohti has advocated peaceful resistance by Uighurs to Chinese policies. His sentencing comes amid flaring violence between the Uighurs, who are mostly Muslim, and the Han ethnic group. Foreign scholars have decried China’s treatment of moderate Uighurs like Mr. Tohti.