Uighur PEN member barred from travelling abroad

Ilham Tohti, Uighur academic and PEN member has been banned from attending a Turkic Culture conference in Izmir, Turkey. Reports claim police officials arrived at his Beijing home on 15 April and warning him against making the trip. Tohti had already received his Turkish visa, and permission to attend the conference from Beijing’s Central Nationalities University, where he is the associated professor of Economics. He was previously detained during the Xinjiang riots last year.

China frees activist Xu Zhiyong

Chinese authorities have released legal activist Xu Zhiyong and two other activists. Xu Zhiyong, founder of the Beijing-based Open Constitution Initiative, was unexpectedly freed on bail, along with co-worker Zhuang Lu, after more than three weeks in prison on charges of tax evasion.  In a separate case, Ilham Tohti, an economics professor who had written about economic discrimination against the Uighur minority, was released after about six weeks in custody. Read more here

China: Human Rights lawyer freed

Leading Chinese human rights lawyer Xu Zhiyong has been released from his three-week detainment on charges of “tax evasion”. Zhiyong’s arrest was viewed as part of a wider crackdown on Chinese activists in the run-up to the 60th anniversary of Communist rule. Xu Zhiyong’s colleague Zhuang Lu and Uighur Internet activist Ilham Tohti were also released.
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