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

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  • 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

     
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  • USCIRF Welcomes Appointment by Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Nury Turkel to U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom

    USCIRF FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEMay 26, 2020 USCIRF Welcomes Appointment by Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Nury Turkel to U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom  Washington, DC – Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced the appointment of Nury Turkel, a lawyer and Uyghur rights advocate, to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). “USCIRF welcomes the appointment of Nury Turkel to the Commission,” said USCIRF Chair Tony Perkins. “Mr. Turkel brings significant experience as a lawyer and human rights advocate making him a great asset to the Commission’s work. He will especially bring insight and knowledge to the plight of Uyghur Muslims in China and elsewhere.” Turkel was born in a re-education camp at the height of the Cultural Revolution and spent the first several months of his life in captivity with his mother. He came to the United States in 1995 as a student and was granted asylum in 1997. He is the first U.S.-educated Uyghur lawyer. Turkel holds a Master of Arts in International Relations and a Juris Doctorate from the American University in Washington, DC. In addition to his professional career, he has devoted his time and energy to defending the rights of Uyghurs in China and promoting international human rights for all. Turkel is currently a Washington, D.C.-based attorney and Chairman of the Board for the Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP), which he co-founded in 2003. He also served as the president of the Uyghur American Association, where he led efforts to raise the profile of the Uyghur people in the United States, including organizing and leading the campaign to obtain the release of a Uyghur prisoner of conscience, Ms. Rebiya Kadeer, in March 2005. He has testified before Congress, speaking about Uyghur camps and advocating a legislative response to China’s atrocities. Many of his recommendations have […]

     
  • ‘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 […]

     
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  • ئۇيغۇر ئاكادېمىيىسىنىڭ ئىنىستىتۇتىمىز ئۈستىدىكى رەددىيە باياناتىنى تور بېتىدىن ئۆچۈرۋەتكەنلىكى ھەققىدە

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

     
  • Jailed Uyghur Scholar Ilham Tohti Receives Freedom House’s ‘Freedom Award’

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