Former Uyghur torch bearer from 2008 Beijing Olympics receives 20-year sentence in China

By Anne Kader

Around fifty Uyghurs participated in carrying the Olympic torch in Beijing in 2008. One of them was Abduqeyum Semet (阿不都克尤木.赛买提), Abduweli Ayup, an Uyghur scholar, writes on his Twitter

Semet, an Uyghur born in June 1962, was a graduate of Xinjiang Medical University. He later practiced as a prominent medical doctor and an assistant director in a People’s Hospital in Kashgar. Unfortunately, these positions did not spare him: After ten years in 2018, he was arbitrarily detained and sentenced to twenty years in prison as part of China’s political hunt for Uyghur intellectuals.

No photo of this prominent Uyghur scholar and a public figure is available on social media, nor can be found in the Chinese search engine Baidu. The Chinese government regularly removes online references to prominent people they label as public enemies.

Anne Kader

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