China: Uyghur academic sentenced for “separatist”

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Tohti had been in jail since January 2014.

A court in China convicted a prominent Uyghur academic of separatism and sentenced him to life in prison, his lawyer said.

Ilham Tohti has criticized the government’s policies towards the Uyghur Muslim minority in the Xinjiang region.

Tohti, detained since January, denies the charges.

According to specialists, China is taking a tougher line against those it considers “separatists” in the context of growing violence linked to Xinjiang.