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 Case

Ilham Tohti Case

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

    BBC News 18 December 2019 The daughter of Ilham Tohti, a Uighur intellectual who has been imprisoned in China, has said she does not know if her father is alive. Jewher Ilham made the remark after accepting a top European human rights prize on behalf of her father. Ilham Tohti was jailed for life on separatism charges in 2014. China has provoked an international outcry its treatment of Uighurs, an indigenous Muslim minority, in the western Xinjiang region. Mr Tohti, an economics scholar, is known for his research on relations between the Uighur and Han people. Ozil removed from PES 2020 in China China’s hidden camps Prosecutors at his trial in 2014 alleged he was engaging in separatist activities, including promoting independence for Xinjiang on his website, Uighur Online. The website aimed to educate both Chinese and Uighur speakers about social issues. He denied being a separatist, and was seen by many as a moderate voice. Ms Ilham says she has not seen her father since 2013 and has had no communication with him for two years. He was awarded the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought for promoting “dialogue and mutual understanding” between the Uighur and other Chinese people. Ms Ilham said her father had been labelled “a violent extremist, with a disease that needs to be cured and mind that needs to be washed”. “I am grateful for the opportunity to tell his story, because he cannot tell it himself,” said Ms Ilham, who received the award in the French city of Strasbourg next to a symbolic empty chair. “To be honest with you, I do not know where my father is. 2017 was the last time my family received word about him.” “Today should be a moment of joy to celebrate freedom of speech,” said […]

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

    US President Donald Trump meets with survivors of religious persecution in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, July 17, 2019. AFP U.S. President Donald Trump met with more than two dozen survivors of religious persecution on Wednesday, including the daughter of a jailed Uyghur professor in China, a Rohingya Muslim who fled state-sponsored violence in Myanmar, and Christians from North Korea, Myanmar and Vietnam. The unscheduled meeting saw Trump host 27 representatives of groups from 16 nations the White House said have suffered violations of religious freedom, including four people from China, and came as the U.S. State Department is hosting its second annual Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom in Washington from July 16-18. “With us today are men and women of many different religious traditions, from many different countries, but what you have in common is that each of you have suffered tremendously for your faith,” he said in welcoming the survivors, noting that they had collectively endured “harassment, threats, attacks, trials, imprisonment, and torture.” “Each of you has now become a witness to the importance of advancing religious liberty all around the world … If people are not free to practice their faith, then all of the freedoms are at risk and, frankly, freedoms don’t mean very much.” Among those Trump met on Wednesday was Jewher Tohti, the daughter of jailed Uyghur professor Ilham Tohti, who regularly highlighted the religious and cultural persecution of Uyghurs in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), but was charged with promoting ethnic separatism and handed a life sentence by a Chinese court on Sept. 23, 2014 following a two-day trial. Tohti told the president about the region’s network of internment camps, where authorities are believed to have detained up to 1.5 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities accused […]

     
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  • Committee to Protect Journalists: Ilham tohti

    Tohti, a Uighur scholar, writer, and blogger, was taken from his home by police on January 15, 2014, and the Uighurbiz website he founded, also known as UighurOnline, was closed. The site, which Tohti started in 2006, was published in Chinese and Uighur, and focused on social issues. Tohti was charged with separatism by Urumqi police on February 20, 2014. He was accused of using his position as a lecturer at Minzu University of China to spread separatist ideas through Uighurbiz. On September 23, 2014, at the Urumqi Intermediate People’s Court, Tohti was sentenced to life imprisonment. He denied the charges. Several foreign governments and human rights organizations protested the sentence. The European Union released a statement condemning the life sentence as unjustified. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S. was concerned by the sentencing and called on Chinese authorities to release him, along with seven of his students. Tohti’s appeal request was rejected at a hearing in a Xinjiang detention center on November 21, 2014, that was scheduled at such short notice that his lawyer was unable to attend. Tohti’s wife told Radio Free Asia in February 2016 that authorities allow family members to visit Tohti for only 30 minutes every three months. Seven of his students–Perhat Halmurat, Shohret Nijat, Luo Yuwei, Mutellip Imin, Abduqeyum Ablimit, Atikem, Rozi and Akbar Imin–were charged with being involved with Uighurbiz during a secret trial held in November 2014, according to Tohti’s lawyer Li Fangping. Many were administrators for the site, according to state media. According to the political prisoner database of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, an organization set up by the U.S. Congress to monitor human rights and laws in China, Rozi and Mutellip Imin wrote for the site. Imin, who is from Xinjiang and enrolled at Istanbul University in Turkey, also has a blog. He was arrested […]

     
  • 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 […]

     
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  • China Change: Ilham Tohti

     
  • China: Civil Society Calls on authorities to Immediately Release Uyghur Professor Ilham Tohti Five Years After His Arrest

     
  • China: Uyghur PEN member, writer and academic Ilham Tohti detained; fears for safety

     
  • Where has Ilham Tohti been held since 15 January?