SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: December 04, 2012

Attack Types: Imprisonment | Travel Restrictions

Institution(s):Central Minorities University

Region & Country:Eastern Asia | China

New or Ongoing:New Incident

In October 2012, prominent Uyghur scholar and economics professor Ilham Tohti was reportedly required to leave Beijing in order to ensure that he didn’t “stir up trouble” during the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party to be held in the second week of November.

According to reports, Professor Tohti was escorted by police to Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, and then to his hometown of Atush, where he was placed under house arrest. Upon the conclusion of the congress, Professor Tohti was permitted to return to Beijing. This is one of a number of restrictions that Professor Tohti has reported facing since 2009.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about apparent restriction on a scholar’s mobility based on the content of his work.  State and university authorities have a responsibility to protect academic freedom and not to interfere with scholar’s responsible research, teaching, publication and other expressive activity, so long as that activity is undertaken peacefully and responsibly.


UPDATE: This is followed by an update. To view, please click here.