A prominent scholar has been arrested in China just weeks after criticising the government in an interview with Australia’s ABC, Ilham Tohti’s family say around 30 police came to his home to take away the Beijing based ethnic Muslin Uighur, he is now being held in an unknown location.
China’s foreign ministry spokesman, Hong Lei, says Mr Tohti is “suspected of breaking the law” computers have been removed from his home, but no further details would been given.
Mr Tohti’s supporters fear his detention is part of a wider crackdown on dissent coming out of the far-Western Xinjiang province following an apparent car fire suicide attack at Tiananmen Gate.
Ilham Tohti is well known for his research on Uyghur-Han relations and is a vocal advocate for the implementation of regional autonomy laws in China, Mr Tohti, a prominent blogger, was the host of Uyghur Online, a website that discusses Uyghur issues. Tohti was previously detained shortly after the 2009 Ürümqi riots by the authorities.