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

  • Uyghur Scholar Tohti Speaks About His Concerns Before Detention

    RFA 2014-02-07 Outspoken Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti gave a lengthy statement by phone to RFA’s Uyghur Service reporter Mihray Abdilim before he was detained by Chinese authorities on Jan. 15 from his Beijing home. He had requested that the statement be made public if he were taken into custody, not heard from afterward, and accused of various charges by the authorities without any right of reply. When he made the statement on July 24, 2013, he was also concerned that he would be tortured and forced to make a confession or even face the prospect of death while in custody. Tohti, who is a professor at the Central University for Nationalities in Beijing and runs the Uyghur Online website, has spoken out for greater autonomy for the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) in China’s far northwest. Below is an abridged version of his statement:    There is a lot of tension around here. In the past few days, I have been under constant surveillance by police vehicles and national security police officers. I have been under heavy supervision. Furthermore, anyone I have interacted with recently, regardless of ethnicity, Uyghur or Han Chinese, has had to suffer through interrogations by the government. I have realized that I don’t have too many good days ahead of me and I have a feeling that they [the Chinese government] may not have the best intentions in dealing with my situation. Therefore, I feel that it is necessary for me to leave a few words behind before I no longer have the ability to do so. Medical examination Firstly, I would like to emphasize that currently, there are no physical marks or bruises on my body. About two months ago, the school [Central University for Nationalities] performed physical examinations on all the teachers, including myself. […]

  • Hundreds of academics urge China’s President to free Professor Ilham Tohti

    Posted on January 18, 2016, in News Uyghur Related News Amnesty International, 18 January 2016 Amnesty International– Four hundred academics from across the world have called on China’s President Xi Jinping to immediately release Uighur Professor Ilham Tohti, on the second anniversary of the day he was taken into custody by authorities. In an open letter to President Xi, scholars from globally recognized academic institutions – including Harvard University, The University of Hong Kong, and the University of Oxford, among many others – write that the immediate and unconditional release of Professor Ilham Tohti would be “an important way of demonstrating China’s commitment to academic freedom”. Ilham Tohti is a prisoner of conscience, who is being cruelly punished for peacefully challenging the Chinese government’s policies towards ethnic minorities. Ilham Tohti is serving a life sentence solely for expressing ideas that fell well within the boundaries of freedom of expression as an academic and writer. He was taken away from his home in Beijing on 15 January 2014 and found guilty of “separatism” on 23 September 2014, after a politicized trial that was marred by numerous procedural irregularities. “Ilham Tohti is a prisoner of conscience, who is being cruelly punished for peacefully challenging the Chinese government’s policies towards ethnic minorities,” said Nicholas Bequelin, East Asia Director at Amnesty International. “That so many academics from across the world have united to call for Ilham Tohti’s immediate release underlines the gross sense of injustice people feel at his continued imprisonment. President Xi Jinping should heed the scholars’ calls.” Perry Link, a professor at the University of California at Riverside and a renowned expert on human rights and politics in China, said: “While much of the world is worrying about ‘radical Islamic terrorists,’ the Chinese government has given a lifetime sentence to an un-radical Muslim non-terrorist. Why […]

  • ‘We Shouldn’t Allow Ilham Tohti to Become a Second Liu Xiaobo’

    RFA Uyghur 2018-07-27 Hu Jia, a Chinese human rights activist and critic of the Communist Party of China, has closely followed the case of Ilham Tohti, an outspoken economics professor who regularly highlighted the religious and cultural persecution of the mostly Muslim Uyghur ethnic minority. Tohti was sentenced to life in prison for promoting ethnic separatism on Sept. 23, 2014 following a two-day show trial and is serving his sentence in No.1 Prison in Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, where the human rights situation continues to deteriorate. Hu, himself a former political prisoner and winner of the 2008 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, has often served as a conduit for information from Tohti’s family to the outside world. He spoke to Mihray Abdilim of RFA’s Uyghur Service about his fears that Tohti could suffer the fate of 2010 Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo, who died of liver cancer last year in a Chinese prison, where his treatment was late and inadequate. For two years, Ilham hasn’t seen his wife and children. The political situation in the Uyghur region is so terrible that his wife Guzelnur decided not to go back there this year. For a long time, the Chinese government has been implementing a policy called ‘Serve Prison Sentence elsewhere’ mainly targeting the high-profile political prisoners. Because Beijing is the political capital where the embassies of all the democratic countries are located, and the main offices of the UN are also based here. As most political events take place in Beijing, most people who are interested in politics gather here as well. Petitioners from all over the country also come here, and we can say that this is where people who were persecuted in past gather as well. From the Chinese authorities’ point of view, Beijing’s stability is their top priority. That […]

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

    Enver Can explains the fight of the renowned Uyghur public intellectual in China, co-winner of 2019 Václav Havel Prize. Mr Can, member of the Ilham Tohti Initiative, explains that the 2019 co-winner has worked for over 20 years to improve the situation of the Uyghur minority and to foster inter-ethnic dialogue and understanding in China. In September 2014, he was sentenced to life imprisonment. Relevat news article: 2019 Václav Havel Prize shared by Ilham Tohti and the Youth Initiative for Human Rights

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

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

  • Committee to Protect Journalists: Ilham tohti

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