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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

  • Five facts about Ilham Tohti, award-winning activist jailed in China

    20 October 2016, 16:39 UTC Uighur scholar Ilham Tohti celebrates his birthday on 25 October, shortly after he was awarded the prestigious Martin Ennals Award for human rights. But who is he and why is he in prison in China? Ilham Tohti is a respected economist who has highlighted abuses against China’s Uighur minority. A renowned Uighur intellectual in China, Ilham Tohti was an economics professor at Central University for Nationalities in the capital, Beijing. He has worked for two decades to build understanding between Uighurs and Han Chinese. Rejecting separatism and violence, he tried to reconcile differences between these ethnic groups. Uighurs, a mainly Muslim Turkic ethnic group, have faced widespread discrimination in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR) in northwest China. Ilham Tohti has been put under surveillance and arrested many times for drawing attention to the plight of Uighurs in China.  Through his writing and lectures, Ilham highlighted government policies that limit the use of the Uighur language, severely restrict Uighurs’ ability to practice their own religion, block their chances of getting a job, and encourage Han migration into the region, all fuelling discontent and ethnic tensions. Ilham was the founder and director of the bilingual website “Uighur Online”, which reported on human rights violations suffered not only by Uighurs but also by ethnic Han Chinese. The website had been shut down by the authorities several times: first before the Beijing Olympics in 2008, again in March and April 2009, and now since 2014. When ethnic violence erupted in the XUAR in 2009, Ilham was detained for several weeks after he posted information on the internet about Uighurs who had been detained, killed and had “disappeared” during and after the protests. In the following years, he was placed under house arrest for various periods.The path I have pursued […]

  • Ilham Tohti Deserves to be a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

    November 25, 2018 Despite knowing the consequences for his actions, Professor Tohti still advocated for a lasting, peaceful relationship between the Han Chinese and the Uyghur people.He spoke about ending the poverty of the people in Xinjiang (East Turkistan.)He spoke about ending the restrictions on religious observance.He spoke about ending the crackdown on Turkic peoples.He spoke about the rights guaranteed under China’s constitution.He spoke about Han and Uyghur living together in peace and harmony.He was jailed and sentenced to life in prison. This is a call to action to support the recognition of Ilham Tohti’s efforts to bring the people of China together and show the Chinese authorities we support the bridge he tried to build between people. While online petitions and forms do make voices heard, a physical letter from constituents has a greater impact. Please take the opportunity to copy the text below or use your own words to call for non-partisan support for Ilham Tohti to be the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.The following link will provide the means to find the address of your Representative and Senators in the US Congress (and in most cases, an email address as well): ###The Honorable (name)Address Sir / Madame,I am writing this letter to urge you to support Ilham Tohti’s nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize.A college professor at a government university, Ilham Tohti peacefully advocated for the rights guaranteed under the Chinese constitution; Chinese authorities sentenced him to life in prison. Ilham Tohti spoke about poverty and how it could be overcome,Ilham Tohti decried the crackdown against the Uyghur people and asked for change,Ilham Tohti embraced friendship among all China’s people,Ilham Tohti spoke about his rights under the constitution of the People’s Republic of China,Ilham Tohti knew what his fate would be and that did not sway him from […]

  • Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize awarded to Ilham Tohti

    The Council of Europe has awarded its prestigious annual human rights award to imprisoned Uighur activist Ilham Tohti. It has also jointly honored the Balkan-based Youth Initiative for Human Rights. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on Monday jointly awarded its human rights prize to Chinese Uighur public intellectual Ilham Tohti and the Balkan-based Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR). “In honoring them, we also send a message of hope to the millions of people they represent and for whom they work: human rights have no frontiers,” PACE president Liliane Maury Pasquier said during a prize-giving ceremony.  PACE✔@PACE_News · Sep 30, 2019Replying to @PACE_News Enver Can of the Ilham Tohti Initiative receives the Prize on behalf of Mr Tohti, who has been in prison in China since 2014: “Today’s prize honours one person, but it also recognises a whole population in giving the entire #Uyghur people a voice.” PACE✔@PACE_News Ivan Djuric receives the #HavelPrize on behalf of @YIHR_Croatia @YIHRSerbia @YIHRKosovo @YIHRBiH and  with pride, but warns: “Don’t play deaf to the sound of war drums from the Balkans… we’re not strangers, we’re Europeans.” 2811:04 AM – Sep 30, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacySee PACE’s other Tweets The Vaclav Havel Human Rights Award — named after the famed former playwright, president of the Czech Republic and democracy activist — carries a prize of €60,000 ($65,500).  Enver Can of the Ilham Tohti Initiative, who represented Tohti at the event, vowed to continue efforts to free the Uighur economist, who was jailed for life in 2014 by a Chinese court on charges of inciting separatism. The YIHR in the Balkans, founded in 2003, describes itself as a group campaigning for justice, equality, democracy and peace; it places particular importance on building cooperation between young activists from different countries and communities in the Balkans. “Don’t play deaf to the […]