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











  • Release Uyghur Professor Ilham Tohti, Arrested Five Years Ago

    Scholars at Risk Network Jan 2019 Scholars at Risk joins 16 organizations and 125 scholars to demand the immediate release of Professor Ilham Tohti, who was arrested five years ago today for promoting dialogue and reconciliation between Uyghurs and Han Chinese.  Professor Tohti is a scholar of economics at the Central Minzu University in Beijing and an advocate for the rights of Uyghurs. On January 15, 2014, police raided Professor Tohti’s home, where they seized computers, cell phones, passports, and student essays, and arrested him. After being held incommunicado in detention for months, on July 30, 2014, Professor Tohti was formally charged with separatism, on the basis of his teachings at the university and his published writings on his site, Uighur Online, which served as a platform to engage Uyghurs and Han Chinese in dialogue. On September 23, 2014, after a closed two-day trial, the Urumqi Intermediate People’s Court found Professor Tohti guilty of separatism and sentenced him to life in prison.  SAR urges Chinese authorities to release Professor Tohti; to ensure that the circumstances of Professor Tohti’s arrest, detention, and conviction are examined; to ensure that any charges or convictions related to his peaceful academic activities are reversed; and that, in the interim, his access to family is ensured and his case is addressed in a manner consistent with internationally recognized standards of due process, fair trial, and detention, in accordance with China’s obligations under international law. Civil Society Calls on China to Immediately Release Uyghur ProfessorIlham Tohti Five Years After His Arrest On the five year anniversary of the arrest of Uyghur professor Ilham Tohti, civil society is calling for China to grant his immediate release and to heed calls for the release of an untold number of Uyghur scholars currently detained. Ilham Tohti, a Uyghur economist, writer and professor, […]

  • 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 […]

  • Enver Can on behalf of Ilham Tohti, co-winner of the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize 2019

    Council of Europe 02 October 2019 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. Relevant article: Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize awarded to Ilham Tohti

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

  • ئىلھام توختى ئىنستىتۇتى قۇرۇلغانلىقى ھەققىدە بايانات

  • P R E S S R E L E A S E / 27 April 2020

  • Ilham Tohti: 2014 PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award Winner