Entry of 2242       

Rahile Dawut

Age: 35-55    Ethnicity: Uyghur    Detention reason: unclear    Detention type: unclear
Gender: F    Location: Urumqi    Detention time: Oct. 2017 - Dec. 2017    Health status: unclear

Testifying party

Darren Byler, an anthropologist at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Relation to victim


About the victim

Professor Rahile Dawut is a scholar of Uyghur folklore and the geography of Uyghur Sufi shrines. She founded the Ethnic Minorities Folklore Research Center at Xinjiang University where she built an intellectual home for dozens of young researchers. She is widely celebrated for her pathbreaking work as one of the first female Uyghur academics to receive her PhD and rise through the ranks of Chinese academia.

Victim's location

Unknown, it is likely that she is being detained in Urumchi.

When victim was detained

Her detention was first made known to her students and colleagues around the world on December 4, 2017.

Reason given for detention

Unknown, it is likely she was detained both because she is a person of influence and because she researched Uyghur local knowledge and practices.

Victim's status


How did the testifier learn about the victim's status?

Her students and colleagues first learned of her detention via text messages sent from colleagues in China.

Additional information

To date, 18,000 people have signed a petition demanding Rahile's immediate release:


The New York Times has also published a story about her detention:

Supplementary materials

Photo of Rahile with local children