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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 Case

Ilham Tohti Case


    JULY 23, 2020  11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Event On July 23, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation hosted the Captive Nations Week Summit, providing an opportunity for policymakers and human rights advocates to hear first-hand from witnesses of the captive nations of China, including East Turkestan, Hong Kong, Inner Mongolia, and Tibet. We awarded the Victims of Communism Human Rights Award to Ilham Tohti, Uyghur activist and economist serving a life sentence in China for advocating for regional autonomy in Xinjiang. His daughter, Jewher Ilham, will accept the award on his behalf. HONORING Ilham Tohti, Victims of Communism Human Rights Award Recipient Ilham Tohti is one of the most renowned Uyghur public intellectuals who is serving a life sentence in China for his advocacy for the Uyghur people. For over two decades, Tohti advocated tirelessly for a peaceful solution to end the repressive policies of the Chinese Communist Party and ethnic tensions in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, known by the Uyghur people as East Turkestan. He was born in 1969 in Xinjiang and began his studies in 1985 at the institution that is today the Central Minzu University in Beijing, known for minority studies. He eventually became a faculty member at the same university and a recognized expert on economic and social issues pertaining to Xinjiang and Central Asia. In order to make the economic, social, and developmental issues confronting the Uyghurs known to China’s wider population, Tohti established the Chinese-language website Uyghur Online in 2006, to foster dialogue and understanding between Uyghurs and Chinese on the Uyghur Issue. Tohti was summoned from his Beijing home and detained shortly after the July 2009 Ürümqi riots by the authorities because of his criticism of the Chinese government’s policies toward Uyghurs in Xinjiang. Tohti was released on August 23, 2009, after international pressure and condemnation. He was arrested again in […]

  • 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 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 […]

  • Three Students of Uyghur Scholar Ilham Tohti Formally Arrested

    RFA Uyghur 201-02-26 Chinese authorities in Xinjiang have formally arrested three students of detained Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti on charges of “splittism” and “revealing state secrets,” while the fate of two other students remains unknown, their instructor’s wife said Wednesday. Authorities informed the families of Perhat Halmurat, Shohret Tursun and Abdukeyum Ablimit—who have been in custody for more than a month—by telephone on Feb. 24 of the charges against the trio and confirmed that they were placed in facilities in the Xinjiang capital Urumqi, Tohti’s wife Guzelnur said. “Perhat and Shohret have been charged with ‘splittism,’ while Abdukeyum was charged with ‘revealing state secrets,’” Guzelnur said, citing a conversation she had with Halmurat’s parents. “They are in Urumqi … The parents are trying to find out which prison,” she said, adding that the families of the students had been served with formal documents the day after authorities notified them of their arrests by telephone. She said it was unclear in which detention center the three were being held. Guzelnur informed RFA’s Uyghur Service earlier this week that her husband had been moved to the Urumqi from Beijing and formally charged with “splittism” by local authorities on Feb. 20. He faces a maximum of life in prison if convicted, according to his lawyer. An outspoken scholar, Tohti has been a vocal critic of the Chinese government’s treatment of Uyghurs, whose homeland is in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and who complain of discrimination by the authorities and the country’s majority Han Chinese. Guzelnur said that the families of the student trio are currently working to find them legal representation. Calls to the families by RFA on Wednesday resulted in messages indicating that their phones had been disconnected. Halmurat and Tursun had been taken into custody in the capital Beijing where they […]

  • Timeline of Ilham Tohti’s Case

    Human Rights Watch September 15, 2014 Late 2005 Living in Beijing and teaching at Beijing’s Minzu University of China, Ilham Tohti establishes “Uighur Online,” a website published in Chinese and Uighur “to provide Uighurs and Hans with a platform for discussion and exchange.” The website serves as a platform for Uighur social and cultural issues, as well as Chinese policies in Xinjiang. Authorities periodically shut the website down. 2008 May 15 Uighur Online is permanently shut down by the government. 2009 March 06 In his interview with Radio Free Asia (RFA), Tohti criticizes Chinese policies in Xinjiang. He questions the central government’s policy of encouraging Han people to move to Xinjiang where the unemployment rate among Uighurs remained high. Tohti also refers to the then-governor of Xinjiang as “unqualified.” March 26 Tohti is interrogated by the police, who tell him not to speak to the media again. July 07 Tohti goes missing after the July 5th violence in Urumqi. Tohti is later found to have been detained by Chinese authorities for posting materials on his website that they allege “stirred up” the ethnic clashes. 2010 July 25 Manager of Uighur Online, Gheyrat Niyaz, was sentenced to 15 years for “endangering state security”. 2011 January 17 Ilham Tohti publishes an article, “My Ideals and the Career Path I Have Chosen”《我的理想和事业选择之路》, explaining that his reason for launching the website was to promote “mutual understanding as well as dialogue among ethnic communities.” Tohti writes that the website contained no “pro-independence, separatist, or irresponsible inflammatory postings” nor “anything subversive.” September Beijing’s Minzu University of China cancels Tohti’s class on economic development, immigration, and discrimination in Xinjiang. 2012 August Tohti is interrogated for 10 hours after speaking to journalists and publishing an article on Uighur Online about Chinese armed forces monitoring Uighurs during Ramadan. October-November Tohti is held under house arrest ahead of the Chinese leadership change during the 18th Party Congress. 2013 February 02 Chinese […]

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

  • Uyghur Human Rights issue and Ilham Tohti case introduced at the IYI Party’s video conference

  • “Parliamentary Breakfast“ on human rights situation in the Uyghur Region (XUAR)

  • Mr. Enver Can visited Ankara to introduce Ilham Tohti