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Jailed academic's daughter says China stifling Uighurs

Ilham Tohti pauses before a classroom lecture in Beijing on June 12, 2010The daughter of a prominent Uighur academic told US lawmakers Tuesday that his arrest sent a message China will not tolerate even peaceful expression of grievances by the minority group. Ilham Tohti, an economist in Beijing who has been one of the most vocal critics of China’s treatment of the mostly Muslim ethnic group, was detained in January and accused of separatism, a charge that could carry the death penalty. His 19-year-old daughter Jewher Ilham, who studies in the United States, told a hearing in the US Congress that her father was not a separatist and opposed violence. “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 Uighur people,” she told the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, which looks at human rights.

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