BEIJING – A prominent scholar from China's Turkic Uighur ethnic minority says he was detained for more than 12 hours at Beijing's airport and then sent home when attempting to board a flight to the U.S.
Ilham Tohti says he was planning to take up a year-long fellowship at Indiana University when he was prevented from leaving the country on Saturday. He says he was interrogated by three separate groups of officers, none of whom gave him a reason why he was being detained.
For the first 10 hours, officers refused to allow him to use the bathroom or provide food and water. Tohti said in an interview Sunday. Tohti is a Beijing-based economist who has been an outspoken critic of some Chinese government policies in the Uighur homeland of Xinjiang.