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Tashpolat Tiyip

Tashpolat Tiyip

Disappeared since 2017 and sentenced to death 

Tashpolat Tiyip was the President of Xinjiang University in East Turkistan. Following a meeting of Communist Party cadres on March 31, 2017, Tiyip was removed from his position. In the same year, while he was traveling to Germany with a group of students for a conference, he was detained at Beijing airport, and he forcibly disappeared. He was detained for a perceived lack of sincerity in implementing the doctrine of the Chinese government. He was praised for his commitment to serving the party with complete obedience, including “strictly implementing political ideology,”. Sometime after his disappearance in 2017, Tiyip was sentenced to death (with a two year reprieve) in a secret trial.

Teyip’s removal and detention was part of the Chinese government’s campaign targeting ‘Two-Faced’ Uyghurs who stray from or who are not fully committed to the party doctrine. It is unclear what his current status is or whether he has been released from detention. This case demonstrates the stringent restrictions Uyghurs in East Turkestan are placed under and lack of basic rights, as even those who cooperate with the Chinese government are being targeted and arbitrarily detained for perceived disloyalty, due to their ethnicity.


BBC, Tashpolat Tiyip: the Uyghur Leading Geographer who Vanished in China, 11 October 2019, available at :

Science Mag, ‘There’s no Hope for the Rest of Us.’ Uyghur Scientists Swept Up in China’s Massive Detentions, 10 October 2019, available at:

European Parliament, Statement by DROI Chair Maria Arena on the situation in Xinjiang, 29 September 2019, available at:

Scholars at Risk, China: Halt the Execution of Renowned Scholar Tashpolat Tiyip, 13 September 2019, available at:

Amnesty International, China: Uyghur Academic Faces Execution in China: Tashpolat Tiyip, 9 September 2019, available at:

Art of Life in Chinese Central Asia,  A Death Sentence for a Life of Service, 22 January 2019, available at:

Amnesty International, China Don’t Execute Tashpolat Tiyip, available at:

Radio Free Asia, Xinjiang University President Purged Under “Two-Faced” Officials Campaign, 20 February 2018, available at:

[Last updated: November 2019]