Congressional - Executive Commission On China
Political Prisoner Database (PPD)
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Search Results Detail for 'Hebibulla Tohti'
Personal Details
CECC Record Number: 2017-00296   Ethnic Group: Uyghur
Detention Status: DET   Sex: M
Issue Category: rel/eth   Age at Detention:
Main Name: Hebibulla Tohti   Religion: Muslim
Chinese Characters (Main Name): 海尔布尔.土赫提 Occupation: scholar, religion
Alternate Name (Lay or Pen):   Affiliation:
Additional Name(s):   Residence Province: Xinjiang Uyghur Auto. Region
Pinyin Name: Hai'erbu'er Tuheti   Residence Prefecture: Wulumuqi [Urumqi] Shi (pref.)
  Residence County: (na)
Imprisonment or Detention Details
Date of Detention: 2017/03/dd
Current Prison: Xinjiang (general location)
Sentence Length (Years): 10
Sentence Length (Months):
Sentence Length (Weeks):
Sentence Length (Days):
Province Where Imprisoned (or Detained): Xinjiang Uyghur Auto. Region
Prefecture Where Imprisoned (or Detained): (na)
County Where Imprisoned (or Detained): (na)
Legal Process
Legal Process: chg/tri?/sent   Formal Arrest Date: 2017/mm/dd
Trial Court:   Trial Date: 2017/mm/dd
Sentence Court:   Sentence Date: 2017/05/dd
Appeal Court:   Appeal Date:
Appeal Ruling Court:   Appeal Ruling Date:
Charge (Statute):   Sent. Ends Per PRC:
  Actual Date Released:
Short Summary
According to RFA (9 August 17), in March 2017, security personnel in Urumqi municipality, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), detained well-known Uyghur religious scholar Hebibulla Tohti. In May 2017, a XUAR court sentenced Tohti to 10 years' imprisonment on unspecified charges related to "illegal religious activity." Tohti's whereabouts remained unknown. Authorities first detained Tohti in Urumqi in July 2016, after he returned from Egypt, releasing him in January 2017. The Islamic Association of China, the official association of Muslims in China, had sent Tohti to study at Al-Azhar Islamic University in Cairo, where he obtained a doctorate in theology. Tohti's 2016 detention was linked to his allegedly teaching religion to Uyghur students in Egypt and attending a 2015 religious conference in Saudi Arabia, and to highlighting Uyghur culture in his dissertation. Tohti also reportedly "failed to write or speak out positively about Chinese policies" in the XUAR. After his January release and prior to his March detention, the Xinjiang Islamic Institute in Urumqi offered him a teaching position. Scholars at Risk was concerned that Tohti's imprisonment was "in apparent retaliation for the nonviolent exercise of academic freedom..." (SAR, 1 May 17).