China slams rights award for separatist teacher Tohti

Source:Xinhua Published: 2016/10/13 0:33:39

China on Wednesday expressed strong dissatisfaction with the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders going to Chinese separatist teacher Ilham Tohti.

Tohti, who was sentenced to life for separatist activities in 2014, was given the accolade on Tuesday by rights groups in Geneva, Switzerland.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said evidence proves Tohti's criminal activities.

"While being a teacher, he called terrorists and extremists 'heroes,' and deluded and coerced people to go abroad and engage in East Turkistan separatist activities," Geng said.

Tohti had planned and organized separatist criminal activities, he added.

Geng said his trial strictly adhered to Chinese law, adding China's internal affairs and judicial sovereignty cannot be interfered with.

Stressing that Tohti's case has nothing to do with human rights, Geng said what he did was "to justify terrorist acts, divide the nation and incite hatred, which is intolerable for any country."

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein attended the award ceremony.

Geng said the attendance of the senior UN official "severely goes against the principles and purposes of the UN Charter" and "interferes in China's domestic affairs."

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