China / Government

China opposes interference in separatist Uygur teacher case

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-09-25 03:06

China opposes interference in separatist Uygur teacher case

A screen grab from CCTV 13 shows lham Tohti at the court.

BEIJING - China on Wednesday voiced strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition after the US State Department slammed the life sentence given to a Uygur scholar for separatism in Urumqi.

"Ilham Tohti's crime is clear, with solid evidence," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a daily news briefing, adding that the case has been made public.

Ilham Tohti was sentenced to life in prison for separatism in Urumqi, the capital of Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, on Tuesday.

The Intermediate People's Court of Urumqi gave the verdict, depriving Ilham of his political rights for life and confiscating personal property.

The court heard that the former teacher at Beijing's Minzu University of China spread lessons containing separatist thoughts via the website, Uygur Online. He coerced students to work for the website and built a criminal syndicate, according to the ruling.

Ilham organized the group to write, edit, translate and reprint articles seeking Xinjiang's separation from China.

The articles attacked China's ethnic, religious, economic and family planning policies, and incited ethnic hatred by distorting the causes of a number of riots and disputes that occurred in Xinjiang and Beijing, the court statement said.

Using his website, Ilham encouraged fellow Uygurs to use violence. He colluded with foreign groups and individuals in hyping incidents related to Xinjiang with the aim of making domestic issues international, it said.

During Wednesday's briefing, Hua said the trial occurred with strict adherence to Chinese law and all Ilham's rights had been safeguarded in accordance with the law.

"One or two countries make indiscreet criticisms on the Ilham case under the banner of 'democracy' and 'human rights,' and even unreasonably demand to release him, which is rude interference in the domestic affair and judicial sovereignty of China," said the spokeswoman.

"China is strongly dissatisfied with and firmly opposed to that and has lodged solemn representations to the countries involved," Hua said.

She urged the countries concerned to immediately discard their "double standard" and stop wrongly interfering in China's domestic affairs.

As to the far-fetched analogy between Ilham and Nelson Mandela, Hua said the two persons are not comparable at all as Mr Mandela was an anti-apartheid hero while Ilham is a criminal that has incited ethnic hatred.

"No country would tolerate words or deeds inciting ethnic hatred, secessionism or terrorism," she added.

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