A well-known Uyghur literature researcher is the latest confirmed case of Uyghur intellectuals having disappeared as the Chinese government continues its crackdown on academics in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR).
Dr. Abdurehim Rahman had been a lecturer in the Department of Literature at Xinjiang University, but went missing after the winter vacation of 2018, raising fears he has joined the more than one million Uyghurs detained without due process in political re-education camps in the past 18 months.
Abdurehim is known to have travelled to Turkey to visit his wife in February. One of his contacts there, speaking on condition of anonymity, told RFA’s Uyghur Service that the professor returned to Urumqi following his 15-day stay, after which all contact had been cut off.
“He came to Turkey with a group of artists to see his wife, a student at Yildiz Technical University in Istanbul,” the source said. “While here, he visited many Turkology researchers from different universities to collect research material.”
“His aim was to take his research to a higher level,” the source said.
RFA contacted the security department of Xinjiang University but the call was disconnected after questions regarding Abdurehim were asked.