Beijing, Sep 25 (IANS) China Wednesday voiced firm opposition after the US state department slammed the life sentence given to a scholar from Uygur ethnic group for separatism in China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
“Ilham Tohti’s crime is clear, with solid evidence,” Xinhua quoted Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying as saying, adding that the case has been made public.
Ilham Tohti was sentenced to life in prison for separatism in Xinjiang’s capital Urumqi Tuesday.
The Intermediate People’s Court of Urumqi gave the verdict, depriving Ilham of his political rights for life and confiscating personal property.
The court heard that the former teacher at Beijing’s Minzu University of China spread lessons containing separatist thoughts via the website, Uygur Online. He coerced students to work for the website and built a criminal syndicate, according to the ruling.
The articles attacked China’s ethnic, religious, economic and family planning policies, and incited ethnic hatred by distorting the causes of a number of riots and disputes that occurred in Xinjiang and Beijing, the court statement said.
During Wednesday’s briefing, Hua said the trial occurred with strict adherence to Chinese law and all Ilham’s rights had been safeguarded in accordance with the law.
“One or two countries make indiscreet criticisms on the Ilham case under the banner of ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’, and even unreasonably demand to release him, which is rude interference in the domestic affair and judicial sovereignty of China,” said the spokeswoman.
She urged the countries concerned to immediately discard their “double standard” and stop wrongly interfering in China’s domestic affairs.
Responding to an analogy between Ilham and Nelson Mandela, Hua said the two persons are not comparable at all as Mandela was an anti-apartheid hero while Ilham is a criminal that has incited ethnic hatred.
“No country would tolerate words or deeds inciting ethnic hatred, secessionism or terrorism,” she added.