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










Ilham Tohti Awards

Ilham Tohti International Awards

  • Open Letter by Wu’er Kaixi, Founding Member of the Ilham Tohti Initiative

    Open Letter by Wu’er Kaixi, Founding Member of the Ilham Tohti Initiative, in Support of Ilham Tohti’s Nomination for The Sakharov Prize 11 September, 2016 Exiled democracy activist Wu’er Kaixi presents an open letter to the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament in support of Ilham Tohti’s candidature for the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2016. Dear Presidents, I write to you on behalf of the Ilham Tohti Initiative to urge your support in nominating Ilham Tohti for the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. Ilham Tohti is the most respected intellectual Uyghur spokesperson in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Before being jailed for life in September 2014, Ilham Tohti strived to achieve dialogue and understanding between the Chinese and the Uyghurs – a Muslim-Turkic people who largely inhabit the PRC’s northwestern Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The Uyghurs are subject to religious, cultural and political repression imposed by Beijing. Ilham Tohti’s voice was one of moderation and reconciliation. For this, he received a lifetime jail sentence. For too long we have conveniently ignored the fact that the PRC’s values do not coincide with those of the civilized world – and let us remember that China not only jails its minorities; it jails anyone who defends human rights and gender rights, as well as lawyers and journalists who work in the interest of transparency. In the face of a refugee crisis unprecedented since World War II, as Europe embraces values of tolerance and inclusiveness, the PRC continues to leverage Chinese nationalism to the cost of those on the peripheries it claims governance over – Uyghurs, Tibetans, the citizens of Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Beijing rejects religious, cultural, and political pluralism. As a result, Ilham Tohti, a moderate intellectual who advocated dialogue and mutual understanding, will spend the rest […]

  • Ilham Tohti awarded “Citizen Power Award 2017”

    Mr. Enver Can received the “Citizen Power Award 2017” from the “Initiative for China” in Tokyo on behalf of Prof. Ilham Tohti on 16th November 2017 during a special Ceremony held at the Japanese Parliament.

  • European Parliament Conference Launches Ilham Tohti’s Candidature for Sakharov Prize

    On 25 May 2016, activists and specialists convened in the European Parliament to answer the question “Does China Want Real Ethnic Harmony?” The conference focused on the unjust imprisonment for life of Professor Ilham Tohti, a renowned Uyghur economist and writer. The conference, organised by the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) in conjunction with the newly founded Ilham Tohti Initiative (ITI), the Society forThreatened Peoples and, further discussed how Ilham Tohti’s story mirrorsthe plight of the Uyghur People.  Tohti’s peaceful approach to the plight of his people has been moderate, dignified and focused on conciliation rather than separation, as was evident in both the speeches dedicated to the man and his life’s work, and in their drive to gain recognitionand freedom for Tohti through his candidacy for the European Union’s 2016 Sakharov Prizefor Freedom of Thought.  The conference was opened by the hosting MEP, Mr Ilhan Kyuchyuk (ALDE), who, after discussing the parallels between the efforts in Bulgaria to persuade ethnic minorities to work together, gave the floor over to a number of experts on the situation of the Uyghur people and Ilham Tohti himself. As the first to take the floor, Professor Dru C. Gladney (Pomona College) gave a general overview of the situation in China and in East Turkestan (Xinjang) in particular, where the majority  of the Uyghur population is based.  He surmised that the problems and instances of conflict between ethnic groups that have become more frequent over the last few years could probably be attributed to the huge influx of Han Chinese to the region – a flow that has not been regulated, but rather encouraged by the Chinese government. Also picking up on this theory, Dr Vanessa Frangville (ULB) pointed out that over the last two decades the democratic shift in the region, triggered […]

  • Imprisoned Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti awarded the 2017 Human Rights Prize of the city of Weimar, Germany

    Imprisoned Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti awarded the 2017 Human Rights Prize of the city of Weimar (Germany).Mr. Enver Can, Prezident of the Ilham Tohti Initiative e. V. Has received the Prize on 10 th December 2017 at a special Ceremony organised by the City Hall on behalf of Prof. Ilham Tohti. Mr. Can in his acceptance speech thanked for the Award Selection Comittee and the citizens of the city on behalf of Ilham Tohti and the Uyghur people, and also signed the Guest Book of the City of Weimar. He wrote in the City’s Guest Book “this Prize is an important moral support to Mr. Tohti and a source of hope for the whole Uyghur Nation“!

  • “Freedom Prize” for Ilham Tohti

  • Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2019

  • Enver Can on behalf of Ilham Tohti, co-winner of the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize 2019

  • Jailed Uyghur Scholar Ilham Tohti Receives Freedom House’s ‘Freedom Award’