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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Ilham Tohti Awards

Ilham Tohti International Awards

 
  • First Anniversary of Awarding Prof. Ilham Tohti with Sakharov Prize

    For Immediate Release 12:00 (CET)Date: 18 December 2020Contact: Enver Can, enver.can@web.de; +49-1738912048 The Ilham Tohti Initiative reiterates its applaud on the first anniversary of awarding Prof. Ilham Tohti with the Sakharov Prize by the European Parliament, but at the same time calls the European Union to  turn its criticism into action on the human rights issue in its relations with the People’s Republic of China in light of the current deteriorating situation in the Uyghur Autonomous Region of Xinjiang (XUAR). Ilham Tohti, Professor at the Minzu University of Beijing, who advocated ethnic harmony and implementation of Autonomy Laws, was sentenced to life in prison after two days of show-trial on charges of separatism, 23th of September 2014. The Beijing regime wanted to silence the Uyghur scholar behind the bars, but Prof. Tohti and his ideas are now better known by the world community than ever before. Thus Mr. Tohti, also called the ‘Mandela of the Uyghur people’ by some Chinese intellectuals, has won at least 8 international human rights and freedom awards during the last 6 years. Among them the Sakharov Award for ‘Freedom of Thought’ is the most prestigious. He was also a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize since 2018 and one of the five finalists in 2020. Prof. Ilham Tohti is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 2021. Prof. Ilham Tohti is known to be kept in Urumchi Prison Number One against Chinese law though he is a resident of Beijing. His family has not been able to visit him for the last 5 years. Thus, Ms. Margarete Bause, human rights speaker of the Greens at the Federal Parliament (Bundestag) of Germany, draws attention to the importance of honoring Mr. Tohti with the Sakharov Prize last year and describes the Award as a clear signal to the leaders in Beijing to stop […]

     
  • The First Anniversary of awarding Prof. Ilham Tohti with the Sakharov Prize for “Freedom of Though”

    The statement by Mr Wu’er Kaixi (also known as Uerkesh Davlet), co-founder and honorary President of the ITI One year ago today, Ilham Tohti was awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought by the European Parliament for his tenacious effort to bridge a dialogue between the Uyghur people and Chinese authority. For his attempt, the answer from the regime was sentencing him to life in prison. I wrote to the European Parliament members to urge their consideration of the Sakharov Prize for Ilham Tohti. I believe the world should recognize, cherish, commend, and defend the voice of reasoning. That was not much to ask, and I am pleased that my appeal was answered by the brave members of the European Parliament. It was not much to ask that when a regime brutally oppresses its own people, the world should stand on the side of the oppressed. If the world is honest and courageous, the world should take that side and do more than just condemnations. But Professor Ilham Tohti’s lifetime imprisonment is a testimony that we are not living in that ideal world. Sakharov Prize to Ilham, on the other hand, present us hope that it may just go that direction. Ilham Tohti must have had hope when he initiated his one-way dialogue, what man without hope would make that attempt to talk to the Chinese regime, which massacres his own young, unarmed protestors, will undoubtedly be even crueler to ethnic minorities? So on this day, to celebrate the spirit of Prof. Ilham Tohti, we too should remain hopeful, not to the Chinese regime, but rather the world’s awaking against that regime.

     
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  • 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.

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

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

     
  • “Freedom Prize” for Ilham Tohti

     
  • Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2019