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China paper justifies arrest of 'malicious' Uighur academic

Published on Jan 18, 2014 3:20 PM

BEIJING (AFP) - China must punish the "brains" behind terrorists and fight against those who preach with "malicious intent", a state-run newspaper said on Saturday in an editorial justifying the arrest of a prominent Uighur academic.

Ilham Tohti is an outspoken critic of government policy towards the mostly Muslim Uighur minority, who are concentrated in the far western region of Xinjiang which is regularly hit by unrest.

He was arrested Wednesday in Beijing and taken to an unknown place, his wife said. "Being a Uighur has made Tohti special, and he and the West seem to be taking advantage of this," the Global Times newspaper said, accusing the economist who teaches at the Central University for Nationalities of giving "aggressive" lectures.

"Freedom of speech and thought is encouraged on campus. But freedom has boundaries. Teachers with malicious intent should not be allowed to freely preach to students," said the editorial.

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