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No Trial Yet for Jailed Uyghur Scholar, Says Lawyer

Last week, the shroud of silence around the case of detained Uyghur scholar sparked fears that a secret trial had already been held, and a plea from his wife for information. Now, the New York Times’ Chris Buckley and Edward Wong report that no secret trial has taken place according to lawyer Li Fangping, who should now finally be allowed access to his client.

“They told me there was no trial last week,” Mr. Li said in a telephone interview from , where he had traveled from Beijing in a quest to see Mr. Tohti and clarify what was happening. “The case was sent to the city procuratorate last Thursday, and they’re now considering whether to prosecute.”

[…] Chinese prosecutors and courts rarely overturn charges against critics of the Communist Party, and if Mr. Tohti is tried and found guilty of inciting , as seems likely, he could face punishment ranging from 10 years in prison to the death penalty.

[…] “We should be allowed to see him, but they say that this case is an especially sensitive one concerning a threat to national security,” Mr. Li said. “I’ll keep waiting here, in case there’s a decision in the next day or two.” [Source]

Rights researcher Joshua Rosenzweig commented on Twitter that no longer provides a legal basis for obstructing access:

Re meeting with Ilham Tohti: Under CPL detention center must arrange meeting within 48 hrs upon presentation of proper paperwork

— Joshua Rosenzweig (@siweiluozi) June 23, 2014

Re lawyers meeting with Ilham Tohti: Once case goes to procuratorate, police can no longer prevent meetings on state security grounds.

— Joshua Rosenzweig (@siweiluozi) June 23, 2014

Re lawyers meeting with detainees: Law says detention center must arrange a meeting "promptly but no later than 48 hours"

— Joshua Rosenzweig (@siweiluozi) June 23, 2014

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