FREE ILHAM TOHTI

 

My ideals and the career path

I was born in 1969 into a Uighur family in Atush City, Kizilsu Kirghiz Autonomous Prefecture, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR). I grew up in a government employee residential compound where Uighurs and Hans lived together. My grandfather’s generation was illiterate, but ...[Full text]
 

A Conference on Uyghur crisis and professor Ilham Tohti

Two days before announce the European “Václav Havel Human Rights Prize” 2019,  a “Conference on Uyghur crisis and professor Ilham Tohti” held in Utrich, Netherland, organised by Ilham Tohti Institute … [Full]
 

Interview With Ilham Tohti by Tsering Woeser on 1st Nov 2009

 

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  • Daughter of imprisoned Uighur scholar speaks out 7 years after he was arrested boarding flight to US

    By Yael Halon | Fox News 23 July 2020 Jewhar Ilham and her father were preparing board their flight to the US when her father was arrested and later sentenced to life on separatism charges Watch the latest video at foxnews.com The daughter of an imprisoned Uighur scholar is on a mission to shed light on China’s human rights abuses after her father was arrested in Beijing’s International Airport and sentenced to a life behind bars on separatism charges. Jewhar Ilham told “Bill Hemmer Reports” Wednesday that her father Ilham Tohti was invited in February 2013 as a visiting scholar to Indiana University. Jewhar and her father were preparing to board their flight to the U.S. when her father was arrested. “2013, Feb. 2, was last time I saw my father at the Beijing International Airport,” Jewhar said. “He was invited by Indiana University as a visiting scholar and I was only planning to accompany him and spent three weeks as a vacation, but as a teenager, I appeared to have no threats to the government officials. I was allowed to leave the country, but my father was arrested at the airport.” US SPEAKS UP FOR MINORITY MUSLIM UIGHURS IN CHINA After being placed on house arrest for 11 months, Tohti, a well-known economics professor in Beijing, was given an unprecedented life sentence based on the writings on his website, Uyghur Online, that promoted peaceful coexistence between the Uyghur people and Han Chinese. “There are hundreds of thousands of daughters and sons just like me that can’t see their parents, cannot call their parents and cannot communicate. They don’t even know, just like me, if their parents are alive or not.” —  Jewhar Ilham, ‘Bill Hemmer Reports’ “He was well-known for his peaceful suggestions and his website,” Jewhar said. “My father wanted to use this website to create understanding and to promote peaceful dialogue or coexistence between the Uighurs people and the Han Chinese.” Because many social media outlets and search engines […]

     
  • Trump Signs Uyghur Rights Act Into Law, Authorizing Sanctions For Abuses in Xinjiang

    Radio Free Asia 2020-06-17 U.S. President Donald Trump signed the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020 into law on Wednesday, authorizing the use of sanctions against Chinese officials deemed complicit in the persecution of Uyghurs in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). The bill, which passed nearly unanimously through both houses of Congress last month, highlights arbitrary incarceration, forced labor, and other abuses in the XUAR—home to internment camps holding as many as 1.8 million Uyghurs and other Muslims. In addition to condemning the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for the three-year-old internment camp program, the new law requires regular monitoring of the situation in the region by U.S. government bodies for the application of sanctions. It also addresses Chinese government harassment of Uyghurs living inside the United States. “The Act holds accountable perpetrators of human rights violations and abuses such as the systematic use of indoctrination camps, forced labor, and intrusive surveillance to eradicate the ethnic identity and religious beliefs of Uyghurs and other minorities in China,” Trump said in a statement released by the Office of the White House Press Secretary after the signing. Trump notes in the statement that the act “purports to limit my discretion to terminate inadmissibility sanctions,” which he said could be inconsistent with his constitutional authorities to receive foreign officials as diplomatic representatives, and therefore would consider the relevant section “advisory and non-binding.” He said that his administration would make efforts to notify relevant congressional committees before removing inadmissibility sanctions against any officials targeted by the new law. The signing comes amid tense relations between the U.S. and China, with the Trump administration taking multiple jabs at Beijing in recent months for its lack of transparency in handling the coronavirus pandemic, trade policy, and expansive territorial claims. The president has also said he would take […]

     
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  • Ilham Tohti, Uighur imprisoned for life by China, wins major human rights prize

    Tom Phillips in Beijing The Guardian Tue 11 Oct 2016 10.27 BST First published on Tue 11 Oct 2016 07.15 BST  The man known as ‘China’s Mandela’ announced as the winner of the annual Martin Ennals award for human rights defenders A moderate Uighur intellectual, who was jailed for life after opposing China’s draconian policies in its violence-stricken west, has been named the winner of a prestigious award known as the “human rights Nobel” in a move likely to infuriate Beijing. Ilham Tohti, who has been called China’s Mandela, was announced as the winner of the annual Martin Ennals award for human rights defenders on Tuesday. The honour comes two years after the 46-year-old scholar was convicted of separatism and condemned to a life behind bars by a court in Xinjiang, a vast region of western China where there have been repeated outbreaks of ethnic unrest and violence.  In a statement, the Martin Ennals foundation said Ilham Tohti had spent two decades trying “to foster dialogue and understanding” between China’s Han majority and members of Xinjiang’s largely Muslim Uighur ethnic minority, of which he is a member. Advertisement “He has rejected separatism and violence, and sought reconciliation based on a respect for Uighur culture, which has been subject to religious, cultural and political repression,” it added.  Beijing has painted Ilham Tohti – whom western governments and rights groups universally view as a voice of moderation – as a dangerous separatist and “scholar-turned-criminal” who preached “hatred and killing”.  “His case has nothing to do with human rights,” Geng Shuang, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, told reporters on Tuesday, accusing the scholar of promoting and taking part in separatist activities.  But Dick Oosting, the chair of the Martin Ennals foundation, rejected that depiction and accused Beijing of silencing a peaceful advocate of Uighur rights.  “The real shame of this situation […]

     
  • USCIRF Welcomes Appointment by Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Nury Turkel to U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom

    USCIRF FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEMay 26, 2020 USCIRF Welcomes Appointment by Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Nury Turkel to U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom  Washington, DC – Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced the appointment of Nury Turkel, a lawyer and Uyghur rights advocate, to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). “USCIRF welcomes the appointment of Nury Turkel to the Commission,” said USCIRF Chair Tony Perkins. “Mr. Turkel brings significant experience as a lawyer and human rights advocate making him a great asset to the Commission’s work. He will especially bring insight and knowledge to the plight of Uyghur Muslims in China and elsewhere.” Turkel was born in a re-education camp at the height of the Cultural Revolution and spent the first several months of his life in captivity with his mother. He came to the United States in 1995 as a student and was granted asylum in 1997. He is the first U.S.-educated Uyghur lawyer. Turkel holds a Master of Arts in International Relations and a Juris Doctorate from the American University in Washington, DC. In addition to his professional career, he has devoted his time and energy to defending the rights of Uyghurs in China and promoting international human rights for all. Turkel is currently a Washington, D.C.-based attorney and Chairman of the Board for the Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP), which he co-founded in 2003. He also served as the president of the Uyghur American Association, where he led efforts to raise the profile of the Uyghur people in the United States, including organizing and leading the campaign to obtain the release of a Uyghur prisoner of conscience, Ms. Rebiya Kadeer, in March 2005. He has testified before Congress, speaking about Uyghur camps and advocating a legislative response to China’s atrocities. Many of his recommendations have […]

     
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  • Cancel China’s Appointment to UNHRC’s Consultative Group

     
  • Ilham Tohti: Uighur activist’s daughter fears for his life

     
  • Sakharov Prize: Jailed Uighur academic Ilham Tohti wins award

     
  • Trump Meets Survivors of Religious Persecution, Jailed Uyghur Professor Ilham Tohti’s Daughter