Ny vädjan om frigivning av professor Rahile Dawut från Kina

Akademiernas kommitté för mänskliga rättigheter uppmanar än en gång kinesiska myndigheter att frige professor Rahile Dawut, en kinesisk uigurisk etnograf som enligt uppgift avtjänar ett livstidsstraff på hemlig ort.

Professor Rahile Dawut är välkänd och respekterad i det internationella forskarsamhället för sitt vetenskapliga arbete om uigurisk folklore och religiös kultur. Hon försvann i december 2017 under en resa till Peking. Rapporter från inofficiella källor indikerade senare att professor Rahile hölls fängslad av regeringen på ospecificerade brottsanklagelser och att hon verkade ha blivit dömd. Kommittén uppmanar kinesiska myndigheter att se till att Dawut friges snarast. I väntan på frigivning ber kommittén de kinesiska myndigheterna att se till att hennes fängelseförhållanden överensstämmer med FN:s minimiregler för behandling av fångar, inklusive att hon får regelbunden möjlighet att träffa sin familj, juridisk hjälp och nödvändig medicinsk vård.

Brevet i sin helhet:

Stockholm 20 March 2024

Your Excellency,

We, the Human Rights Committee of Sweden’s Scientific and Literary Academies, contact you respectfully to express our concern about Professor Rahile Dawut, a Chinese ethnic Uyghur ethnographer who reportedly is serving a life sentence in an undisclosed location.

Professor Rahile is well-known and respected in the international scientific community for her scholarly work on Uyghur folklore and religious culture.  It is our understanding that much of her academic research at Xinjiang University was funded by China’s Ministry of Culture and that she has been recognized by the government for her contributions to the study of Chinese folklore. Professor Rahile reportedly disappeared in December 2017. We are alarmed that, six years later—without any information made public about her legal status, whereabouts, or well-being—reliable accounts indicate that she is serving a life sentence in China for allegedly endangering State security. Given the secrecy surrounding her case, there is reason to believe that her right to a fair trial and the standards of due process of law have not been respected but violated in an alarming manner.

In light of the information above, it appears that Professor Rahile has been arbitrarily detained and denied access to due process. These rights are protected under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which China is a signatory.  Thus, we respectfully urge you to use your good offices to ensure that she is immediately and unconditionally released from prison. In the interim, we ask for your assistance in disclosing her whereabouts and ensuring that her conditions of confinement are brought into conformity with the U.N. Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules), including that she is allowed regular access to her family, to legal counsel, and to any needed medical care.

Thank you, Your Excellency, for your attention to this important matter.

Respectfully yours,
The Human Rights Committee of Sweden’s Scientific and Literary Academies

Akademiernas kommitté för mänskliga rättigheter består av representanter från Kungl. Vetenskapsakademien, Kungl. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademien, Svenska Akademien och Sveriges unga akademi.