Uighurbiz.cn's founder detained

In twitter, a number of retweets said that IIham Tohti, a Uighur professor in Minzu university of China and founder of Uighurbiz.cn has been detained.

According to Xinjiang Governor Nur Bekri's press statement, the Urumqi riot was led by Uighur exiles via the Internet: “Rebiya had phone conversations with people in China on July 5 in order to incite, and Web sites such as Uighurbiz.cn and Diyarim.com were used to orchestrate the incitement and spread propaganda.”

Uighurbiz.cn is established around 2005 and now become a most influential online community for Uyghur and Han youths in Xinjiang who want to discuss human rights and ethnicity issues. In the summer of 2008, the website had been forced to shut down temporarily, very likely due to Tibet riot.

As a result of the current Urumqi riot and the government's conspiracy theory, on July 5 Uighurbiz.cn was blocked and Internet service at Urumqi cut. Moreover, twitter and facebook were also blocked from access on July 6 and fanfou (Chinese version of twitter) could not be updated since last night (July 7).

IIham Tohti was questioned by “relevant authorities” concerning his website and online activities and yesterday (July 7) he wrote a public response to Nur Bekri in Uighurbiz.cn's forum. He insisted that the June 26 Shaoguang factory gang fight should be discussed and reflected upon and that he was ready to go through trial to defend his rights. However, he stressed that he would appoint his own lawyers and refused any government assigned one.

In Iham Tohti's blog at sina, a number of posts concerning the June 26 Shaoguang incident had been deleted and his latest update was also on July 7.

The crime of “inciting subversion” is defined by Article 105(2) of China's criminal code as “inciting others by spreading rumors or use of slanders or any other means to subvert state power or overthrow the socialist system.” Under normal circumstances, the maximum penalty for inciting subversion is five years’ imprisonment. For “ringleaders” or in “major cases” (a standard for which there is no real criteria), five years’ imprisonment is the minimum sentence. (via Chinese law prof blog)

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