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

All about Ilham Tohti

  • Uyghur Web Site Shut Down [Archive]

    RFA Uyghur 2008-06-12 “My main agenda is to promote understanding between Uyghurs and Han Chinese,” an Uyghur professor says after authorities shut down his Web site. HONG KONG—Chinese authorities have closed a Web site aimed at promoting understanding between Han Chinese and ethnic Uyghurs following allegations that the site was linked to foreign “extremists,” the site’s owner said. But in a surprising twist, Ilham Tohti, a Uyghur economics professor at the Central Nationalities University in Beijing, said it was fellow Uyghurs who told authorities his two-year-old Chinese-language Web site, Uyghur Online, had links to Uyghur “extremists” abroad. “The Public Security Bureau (PSB) shut us down and investigated. They cleared us, but they didn’t say anything about reopening the site,” he said. “They told us, ‘Don’t worry. Don’t be concerned. Under current laws and conditions we can’t accept some discussion topics—these are sensitive but not illegal.’ But they didn’t say when the site could reopen.” No comment was available from the Beijing PSB, and why ethnic Uyghurs would complain about the Uyghur Online Web site was unclear. “Many of our readers, viewers, are Han Chinese intellectuals. They want to understand other nationalities—they are trying.”Ilham Tohti Tohti said his site—which employs 67 people of 12 nationalities, although they are not paid—sometimes scores 1 million page views daily.  Content is published in Chinese and written by Uyghur, Han, Korean, Tibetan, and other contributors. Promote understanding“My main agenda is to promote understanding between Uyghurs and Han Chinese,” he said, adding that he believed it has been somewhat successful. “Uyghurs are a peaceful people, and we have to tell this to the Han Chinese because they don’t understand Uyghurs.” “Many of our readers, viewers, are Han Chinese intellectuals. They want to understand other nationalities—they are trying. They aren’t a large number but they are increasing.” […]

  • ئىلھام توختى ئىنستىتۇتىنىڭ نىشانى

    ئىلھام توختى ئىنستىتۇتى (ITI) ئاممىۋىي تەشكىلات بولۇپ، ناھەق تۈرمىگە قامالغان ئۇيغۇر ئاكادېمىكى پروفېسسور ئىلھام توختىنىڭ نامىغا قۇرۇلغان. ئىلھام توختى خىتاي ھۆكۈمىتى تەرىپىدىن تۈرمىگە سولىنىشتىن بۇرۇن، ئۇيغۇرلار بىلەن خىتايلار ئارىسىدىكى زىددىيەتنى تىنچلىق ۋە دىئالوگ ئارقىلىق ھەل قىلىش، ئۇيغۇرلارنىڭ قانۇن ئالدىدىكى كەمسىتىلمىگەن باراۋەر  پۇقرالىق ھوقۇقىنى قانۇنىي كاپالەتكە ئىگە قىلدۇرۇش، كۆپ سانلىقنى ئىگىلەيدىغان خىتاينىڭ خەن پۇقرالىرى بىلەن قانۇنى ئالدىدا تەڭ باراۋەر ھوقۇقلاردىن بەھرىمەن بولۇشىنى ئىشقا ئاشۇرۇش، شۇنداقلا خىتاي ھۆكۈمىتىنىڭ ئۇيغۇرلار ئۈستىدىن يۈرگۈزلىپ كېلىنىۋاتقان ئىرقىچىلىق، تەڭسىزلىك، ئادالەتسىزلىكلەرنى، ھوقۇق دەپسەندىچىلىكلىرىنى خىتاي خەلقىگە ۋە دۇنياغا ئاڭلىتىش يولىدا تۈرلۈك تەتقىقات ۋە ئاكتىپ ئاممىۋىي پائالىيەتلەرنى ئېلىپ بارغان ئىدى.  ئىلھام توختى ئەپەندى ھاياتىنىڭ خەۋپكە ئۇچرىشىغا قارىماي، خىتاي ھۆكۈمىتىگە ئۆزىنىڭ تەكلىپ ۋە پىكىرلىرىنى دادىللىق بىلەن سۇنغان. ئەپسۇسلىنارلىقى، ئۇ 2014-يىلى خىتاي ھۆكۈمىتى تەرىپىدىن ئادالەتسىز سوتقا تارتىلىپ، ئۆمۈرلۈك قاماق جازاسىغا ھۆكۈم قىلىندى.   ئىنستىتۇتىمىز پروفېسسور ئىلھام توختىنى قۇتۇلدۇرۇش ۋە ئۇنىڭ ئۇيغۇر خەلقىنىڭ ھەق – ھوقۇق دەپسەندىچىلىكلىرى ئۈستىدە ئېلىپ بارغان ئىلمىي ئەمگەكلىرىنى، جىددىي ۋە تەخىرسىز بولۇۋاتقان ئۇيغۇرلار مەسىلىسىنى تىنچلىق ئۇسۇلى بىلەن ھەل قىلىش چارىسىنى تېپىپ چىقىش ۋە ئەمەلگە ئاشۇرۇش يولىدا قىلغان خىزمەتلىرىنى دۇنياغا بىلدۈرۈش، شۇنداقلا، ئۇنىڭ تەتقىقاتلىرىنى داۋاملاشتۇرۇش ئۈچۈن خىزمەت قىلىدۇ؛ ئىنستىتۇتىمىز ئۇيغۇرلارنىڭ بىرلەشكەن دۆلەتلەر تەشكىلاتى ئىنسان ھەقلىرى باياناتنامىسى ۋە خەلقئارا قانۇندا بەلگىلەنگەن بارلىق  ھەق – ھوقۇقلىرىنىڭ بۇزغۇنچىلىققا ئۇچراش ئەھۋاللىرى ئۈستىدە ئىزدىنىش، تەكشۈرۈش ۋە خەلقئارا جامائەتكە ئاشكارىلاش قاتارلىق خىزمەتلىرىنى پائال تۈردە ئېلىپ بارىدۇ؛ ئىلھام توختى ئەپەندىم قۇرغان «ئۇيغۇر بىز» تور بېكىتىنى ئەسلىگە كەلتۈرۈش ۋە بۇ تور بېكەتكە قويۇلغان مۇناسىۋەتلىك ماتېرىياللارنى ئېنگلىزچە ۋە ئۇيغۇرچە تەرجىمە قىلىپ، تەتقىقاتچىلار ۋە ئۇيغۇر خەلقىنىڭ پايدىلىنىش ئۈچۈن تەقدىم قىلىنىدۇ؛  ئىلھام توختىنىڭ ھاياتى ۋە ئىش –پائالىيەتلىرى ھەققىدە مەخسۇس كىتاب ۋە ژۇرناللارنى نەشىر قىلىپ، دۇنيانىڭ ئىلھام توختىنى ۋە نۆۋەتتىكى جىددى بولۇۋاتقان «ئۇيغۇر قىرغىنچىلىقى» تراگېدىيەسىنى چۈشىنىشى ئۈچۈن كۆۋرۈكلۈك رول ئوينايدۇ. ئۇيغۇرلار ۋەزىيىتىگە دائىر ئەڭ ئىشەنچلىك ئۇچۇر مەنبەسى بولۇش بىلەن بىرگە، ئۇيغۇرلار ھەققىدىكى ئەڭ يېڭى تەتقىقات ۋە مەلۇماتلارنى دۇنياغا سۇنۇشنى نىشان قىلىدۇ.

  • China: Free Ilham Tohti

    PEN International 21 February 2018 On International Mother Language Day, PEN International calls for the immediate and unconditional release of the imprisoned Uyghur writer Ilham Tohti. 21 February 2018 – Tohti is a public intellectual from China’s Uyghur minority and one the world’s foremost scholars on Uyghur issues. Arrested in January 2014, charged with ‘Splittism’ (advocating separatism) in July 2014, and convicted following an unfair trial on 23 September 2014, he was sentenced to life imprisonment and confiscation of all his property. Tohti’s appeal against his conviction and sentence was rejected in November 2014. Tohti has never promoted violence or separatism. In 2006, he co-founded the website Uyghur Online, aimed at promoting understanding between Uyghurs and Han Chinese. But his criticism of the Chinese authorities for their heavy-handed treatment of the Uyghur minority made him the target of frequent harassment. Following his initial arrest, the Bureau of Public Security for Urumqi alleged that Tohti had been using the website as a platform to recruit followers. PEN International first began working on Tohti’s case in 2009, following his detention for speaking out about ethnic unrest that broke out in Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), on 5 July 2009. Initially placed under house arrest, he was later transferred to an unknown location where he was kept incommunicado before being released six weeks later. Further harassment followed, including periods spent under house arrest. Tohti is a member of Uyghur PEN and received the PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award in 2014. He was an honorary Empty Chair at PEN International’s world congress in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, in 2014. Take Action: Write to the Chinese government: Calling for the immediate and unconditional release of the Uyghur writer and scholar, Ilham Tohti; Reminding them that as a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political […]


    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 […]

  • ITI Activities in photo (1)

  • Daughter of imprisoned Uighur scholar speaks out 7 years after he was arrested boarding flight to US

  • Three Students of Uyghur Scholar Ilham Tohti Formally Arrested

  • Timeline of Ilham Tohti’s Case