World

China shackles Uighur scholar's feet for a month while he awaits trial for splitting country

  • FILE - In this Monday, Feb. 4, 2013 file photo, Ilham Tohti, a prominent scholar from China's Turkic Uighur ethnic minority pauses during an interview,  at his home in Beijing. A lawyer says a Chinese minority scholar accused of separatism and awaiting trial has been shackled on his feet for more than a month. That treatment of Ilham Tohti, an ethnic Uighur scholar, is rare and unnecessarily harsh, his lawyer, Li Fangping, said Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014.  (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

    FILE - In this Monday, Feb. 4, 2013 file photo, Ilham Tohti, a prominent scholar from China's Turkic Uighur ethnic minority pauses during an interview, at his home in Beijing. A lawyer says a Chinese minority scholar accused of separatism and awaiting trial has been shackled on his feet for more than a month. That treatment of Ilham Tohti, an ethnic Uighur scholar, is rare and unnecessarily harsh, his lawyer, Li Fangping, said Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Dec. 1, 2009 file photo, economist Ilham Tohti, from China's predominantly Muslim Xinjiang region speaks to students at the Central Nationalities University in Beijing, China. A lawyer says a Chinese minority scholar accused of separatism and awaiting trial has been shackled on his feet for more than a month. That treatment of Ilham Tohti, an ethnic Uighur scholar, is rare and unnecessarily harsh, his lawyer, Li Fangping, said Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Elizabeth Dalziel, File)

    FILE - In this Dec. 1, 2009 file photo, economist Ilham Tohti, from China's predominantly Muslim Xinjiang region speaks to students at the Central Nationalities University in Beijing, China. A lawyer says a Chinese minority scholar accused of separatism and awaiting trial has been shackled on his feet for more than a month. That treatment of Ilham Tohti, an ethnic Uighur scholar, is rare and unnecessarily harsh, his lawyer, Li Fangping, said Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Elizabeth Dalziel, File)  (The Associated Press)

A lawyer says a Chinese minority scholar accused of separatism and awaiting trial has been shackled on his feet for more than a month.

That treatment of Ilham Tohti, an ethnic Uighur scholar, is rare and unnecessarily harsh, his lawyer, Li Fangping, said Thursday.

Tohti was arrested earlier this year amid rising tensions in the western region of Xinjiang between the minority Uighurs and majority Han people. He is awaiting trial in Urumqi, the provincial capital, on charges of splitting the country.

Authorities put shackles on Tohti's ankles on Aug. 9, and they have remained there ever since, he told Li on Thursday.

The prosecuting attorney's office argued that Tohti should be restricted because he had coughed to disturb fellow inmates, which led to scuffles with them.