Two senior Uyghur education officials in Xinjiang and a well-known writer who had disappeared from public view in early 2017 without explanation have turned out to be serving life sentences on separatism charges, RFA’s Uyghur Service has learned.
The three men—former director of the Xinjiang Education Supervision Bureau Satar Sawut, writer and critic Yalqun Rozi, and former Xinjiang University President Tashpolat Teyip—vanished last year amid rumors they had run afoul of China’s increasingly hard-line policies in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR).
In Sawut’s case, a message posted on a Chinese website in February 2017 said he was undergoing investigation for a serious breach of the party discipline. The post did not say what Sawut was accused of doing. Rozi’s arrest had been the subject of rumors for the past two years, but no witnesses or documents were ever produced to determine his fate.
RFA’s Uyghur Service received a letter last month from an anonymous former official in Xinjiang. The author of the letter said he was undergoing mandatory political education, and he and fellow cadres were shown a political study film made by the police.