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China charges prominent Uighur professor with separatism

Published on Feb 25, 2014 11:33 PM

BEIJING (REUTERS) - Authorities in China's restive far western region of Xinjiang have charged a prominent ethnic Uighur professor with separatism, his wife and lawyer said on Tuesday, in a case which has attracted concern in the United States and Europe.

Police in Beijing last month detained Prof Ilham Tohti, a well-known economist who has championed the rights of the Muslim Uighur community, who come from Xinjiang. He was subsequently taken to Xinjiang's regional capital Urumqi.

Prof Tohti's wife, Guzailai Nu'er, said she had received a notice that his arrest had been formally approved and he was being charged with separatism.

"This is ridiculous. He's never done anything like this. He is a teacher," she told Reuters by telephone from her house in Beijing.

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