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Entry of 7434

This is a strong (Tier-1) testimony.
Tashpolat Teyip
Tashpolat Teyip
Likely place of origin
Ghulja City
Likely current location
Last reported det. type
When first detained
Jan. 2017 - Mar. 2017
Probable detention reason
Health status
Chinese Communist Party members  Covered in international media 

See raw/original

Testifying party

Testimony 1: Xinjiang University staff, as reported by Radio Free Asia Uyghur. (colleague)

Testimony 2: Anonymous, as reported by Asialyst. (relation unclear)

Testimony 3: Anonymous, as reported by "Amy Anderson". (friends, family, and students)

Testimony 4: Amnesty International, as reported by Radio Free Asia Uyghur.

Testimony 5: Nury Teyip, as reported by Los Angeles Times. (brother)

Testimony 6: Abduweli Ayup, a language activist, linguist, and writer, originally from Kashgar but now residing in Norway. (relation unclear)

Testimony 7: American Association of Geographers, a non-profit scientific and educational society aimed at advancing geography and related fields. (colleague)

Testimony 8: Xinjiang University Honghu Net (新疆大学红湖网), a web portal of Xinjiang University.

Testimony 9: Chinese government spokesperson, as reported by Science.

Testimony 10: Anonymous, as reported by BBC. (colleague)

Testimony 11: Nury Teyip, now residing in the United States. (brother)

Testimony 12: Nury Teyip, as reported by Radio Free Asia Uyghur. (brother)

About the victim

A geographer with a doctorate degree from the Tokyo University of Science, Dr. Tashpolat Teyip served as the President of Xinjiang University and as a Communist Party deputy secretary from 2010. He is the author of several book contributions and scientific articles on spectroscopy and long-distance sensing, and their applications to measuring land cover and soil types. He has also received an honorary degree from one of France's most prestigious educational institutions, l'Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes de Paris (EPHE).

Originally from Ghulja City, he had been residing in Urumqi for decades.

Victim's location

[Presumably in Urumqi.]

When victim was detained

He is reported to have been stopped at the Beijing airport in late March 2017 and told to return to Urumqi, while on his way to a conference in Germany, where he was supposed to attend the launch of a joint center to study underground coal fires, a collaboration between Xinjiang University and the Leibniz Institute for Applied Geophysics in Hanover. [There is a contradiction here, as Nury Teyip in his interview to NBC says that Tashpolat was arrested after returning from Germany.]

His replacement was announced at a meeting of Communist Party cadres on March 31, 2017, and his name was subsequently removed from the official list of Xinjiang University presidents, which lists every Xinjiang University president since 1924. He had previously been praised on the university's website for his "commitment to serving the Party with complete obedience, including 'strictly implementing political ideology'".

At some point after his arrest, he was given a death sentence with 2-year reprieve.

The state-run Global Times offers a different view, saying that he was arrested on May 7, 2018 for accepting bribes, and that an open trial for him was held on June 13, 2019 by Urumqi's intermediate court. A statement of a Chinese government spokesperson in Washington, D.C. mirrors this, saying that he was arrested in May 2018 for corruption.

Probable (or official) reason for detention

According to those who were close to him, he is believed to have been detained on the charge of being "two-faced".

The state-run Global Times reports that he was arrested for accepting bribes, which mirrors the statement by a Chinese spokesperson that he was arrested for corruption.

Victim's status

Originally reported as sentenced to death with a 2-year reprieve. [However, that the Global Times has given an "update" on his case suggests that this may have changed.]

His brother, Nuri Teyip, who lives in the U.S., had previously said that he had not been able to receive any news regarding Tashpolat or any of his other family members. According to the LA Times report, he has been unable to contact any of them. In a more recent RFA report, he is reported as saying that he heard of Tashpolat being given 20 years in prison, but without being able to confirm this.

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

Little has been known about his case. His disappearance was reported by those who knew him, with his being relieved from his position as President of Xinjiang University publicly written about on the XJU site. Radio Free Asia was able to confirm some details by contacting XJU directly.

Information about his 2-year death sentence reprieve came from the fact that he was allegedly featured in the same state instruction film as many other Uyghur scholars (as reported by those having seen the film, though it is unclear who).

That he was allegedly arrested and tried for corruption was reported by Chinese state sources, which presumably have direct knowledge of his case.

Additional information

Coverage and sources:

https://www.rfa.org/uyghur/qisqa_xewer/tashpolat-tiyip-12272019172612.html (English: https://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/death-12272019142753.html)

The American Association of Geographers published a letter on September 17, 2019, signed by 1300 academics, in support of the release of Tashpolat Teyip: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Ie4yxXBdQe3MoNmQCZ07-oqyokEWsxb5/view

Various other academic and human rights institutions have called for Teyip’s release, including the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Amnesty International, PEN America, and Scholars at Risk.

This victim is included in the list of prominent detained Uyghurs, available at: shahit.biz/supp/list_003.pdf

Court cases in which Tashpolat Teyip represented Xinjiang University:


Awarded the Magtymguly International Prize: http://archive.is/gBaB6

Authored books: http://archive.is/gqVln

Statement by French embassy in Beijing: https://cn.ambafrance.org/Statement-by-the-Spokesperson-on-the-trial-of-Chinese-human

State media article praising him: http://archive.is/6ItHG

Suspected human rights violations

Article 5: Nobody has any right to hurt us or to torture us.
Article 7: The law is the same for everyone. It must treat us all fairly.
Article 9: Nobody has the right to put us in prison without a good reason, to keep us there or to send us away from our country.
Article 10: If someone is accused of breaking the law they have the right to a fair and public trial.
Article 11: Nobody should be blamed for doing something until it has been proved that they did it. If people say we did something bad, we have the right to show this was not true. Nobody should punish us for something that we did not do, or for doing something which was not against the law when we did it.
Article 12: Nobody should try to harm our good name. Nobody has the right to come into our home, open our letters, or bother us or our family without a very good reason.
Article 19: We all have the right to make up our own minds, to think what we like, to say what we think, and to share our ideas with other people wherever they live, through books, radio, television and in other ways.

Supplementary materials

show-of-support testimony
Global Times tweet
photo (1)
photo (2)
Testimony 7
photo (3)
photo with Turkmen president
photo (4)
photo (5)
photo with brother
old family photo
Testimony 11

Entry created: 2018-10-28

Last updated: 2020-02-15

Latest update from testifier: 2020-01-03