The US is very far from being a beacon of human rights, and so is China.
Seven university students linked to jailed Uighur scholar Ilham Tohti have reportedly gone on trial in China’s westernmost province of Xinjiang.
Tohti was sentenced to life imprisonment in September for separatism and fanning ethnic tensions.
The students are accused of contributing to a website run by Tohti on Uighurs.
Human rights? Not in evidence.
The BBC’s Celia Hatton in Beijing says the trial is so secret that even the Xinjiang court will not confirm the proceedings.
Tohti’s lawyer, Li Fangping, told the BBC that the students contributed to Uighur Online, a now defunct website run by their teacher that promoted discussion between Uighurs and other ethnic groups in China.
The authorities, however, claim the site advocated Xinjiang’s independence.
Mr Li, who was speaking on behalf of the students’ lawyer so as to protect his counterpart, said the students face between five to 15 years in prison.
The students disappeared after being taken into police custody last January, then resurfaced later giving testimonials on national television incriminating Tohti.
I’m sure those testimonials were very reliable.
The trial follows last week’s rejection of a court appeal lodged by Tohti against his sentence.
Tohti was known as an outspoken critic of the Chinese government’s treatment of the Uighur minority, who largely live in Xinjiang.
And that could explain why he’s now in prison for life.