Statement on the reported life imprisonment of Rahile Dawut

We are deeply concerned to hear that the Uyghur ethnographer Professor Rahile Dawut has reportedly been issued with a life sentence by the Chinese authorities. 

Professor Dawut, who is widely recognised for her work on Uyghur folklore and traditions, has collaborated with SOAS on previous research projects in this field. 

Professor Rahile Dawut
Photo credit: Lisa Ross

At SOAS, we are committed to protecting academic freedom, which includes the freedom to conduct research that is responsive to the marginalized communities of our world. 

The news of her imprisonment is devastating, and we collectively call for her immediate and safe release.