On January 29, 2018, Chinese authorities reportedly detained Abdulqadir Jalaleddin, a literature professor at Xinjiang Pedagogical University.
Professor Jalaleddin, a member of China’s Uyghur minority community, is a prominent academic and writer. On January 29, 2018, police reportedly raided Professor Jalaleddin’s home, placed a black hood over his head and took him into custody. According to a local official, authorities brought him to a “political re-education camp” in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
According to a statement released on April 23, 2018 by the World Uyghur Congress, “the Chinese government has provided no justification for [Professor Jalaleddin’s] arrest and he has not been publicly charged with any crime, despite his continued detention.” As of this report, Professor Jalaleddin reportedly remains in detention without access to family or legal counsel.
Since January 2017, Chinese authorities have taken sweeping actions against members of the Uyghur minority community, ordering students studying abroad to return to the region and detaining thousands in re-education camps and other detention centers.
Scholars at Risk is concerned about the arbitrary detention of a scholar in apparent retaliation for the peaceful exercise of the rights to academic freedom, freedom of expression, and freedom of association — conduct which is expressly protected under international human rights instruments including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which China is a signatory. In addition to harm to the immediate victim, such actions undermine academic freedom and democratic society generally. State officials have an obligation to comply with internationally recognized standards of due process and fair trial.