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

    Tuesday 15 January 2019 – 12:45pm Ilham Tohti, Uighur scholar and PEN member sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of separatism. 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, founded the website “Uighurbiz.net” in 2006 to promote conciliation between Uyghurs and Han Chinese, but was arrested on January 15, 2014. Despite the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention finding his detention to be arbitrary in March 2014, Tohti was sentenced to life in prison in September of that year on charges of “separatism” after just a two-day trial. The legal process involving Tohti was met with significant issues throughout. His lawyers were unable to meet him for six months following the initial arrest, his defense team was not provided with complete evidence by the prosecutor, nor were their requested witnesses allowed to testify during the trial. Professor Ilham Tohti, for a number of years, criticised oppressive policies against Uyghurs and wrote extensively on constructive approaches to overcome unequal treatment between ethnic groups. Notably, he called for dialogue and reconciliation, using his web platform as the primary vehicle. Ilham has been serving his life sentence since December 2014 at Urumqi’s No. 1 Prison. Since then, he has been allowed visits by close family every three months and limited to one hour. Complicating this has been his continued detention in Urumqi, despite his family living in Beijing – a likely punitive move from Beijing. ChinaChange has noted that Tohti has been held in solitary confinement until at least early 2016 and has been denied the right to communicate with family and friends aside from minimal visits. ChinaChange also reported that […]

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

    RAN 03/14 31 January 2014 PEN International is seriously concerned for the well-being of Uyghur writer, academic and Uyghur PEN member, Ilham Tohti, who was arrested at his home on 15 January 2014 and remains detained incommunicado. While Tohti has yet to be formally charged, the authorities have announced that he is under investigation for promoting Xinjiang’s independence and abetting separatists through his website Uyghur Online. PEN believes he is held for peacefully exercising his right to free expression and calls for his immediate and unconditional release.  TAKE ACTION! Share on FaceBook, Twitter and other social mediaSend appeals to Chinese Embassies:• Protesting the arrest of Uyghur writer and academic Ilham Tohti, and calling for his immediate and unconditional release;• Urging the authorities to reveal where he is being held and seeking assurances of his well-being;• Protesting the renewed crackdown on Chinese Uyghurs who criticise the government;• Reminding the Chinese authorities that Article 35 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China provides for freedom of speech and that as a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which provides for freedom of legitimate expression, the right not to be arbitrarily detained and the right to a fair trial, they are obliged to “refrain from acts that would defeat or undermine the treaty’s objective and purpose”. Send appeals to:His Excellency Xi JinpingPresident of the People’s Republic of ChinaState CouncilBeijing 100032P.R. China Please note that there are no fax numbers for the Chinese authorities. We recommend that you copy your appeal to the Chinese embassy in your country asking them to forward it and welcoming any comments. See this useful link to find the contact details of the Chinese embassy in your country Chinese embassies abroad **Please contact the PEN WiPC office in London if sending appeals after 28 […]

     
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  • Where has Ilham Tohti been held since 15 January?

    Reporters Without Borders calls on the authorities to stop holding Uyghur academic and citizen-journalist Ilham Tohti incommunicado. Tohti’s family has received no news of him since his arrest at his Beijing home on 15 January. No one knows for sure, but he may have been secretly transferred to a prison in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. “The public security bureau in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, has reported online that Ilham Tohti is accused of inciting separatism but no police station has been able to tell his family where he is being held,” said Benjamin Ismaïl, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Asia-Pacific desk. “We deplore the use of methods that are illegal under both Chinese law and international standards. We call on the authorities to reveal where they are holding Tohti and to allow his lawyer and his family to visit him.” According to a report posted online on 25 January, the authorities accuse Tohti of heading a separatist group that advocates the use of violence to overthrow the Chinese government in Xinjiang and of using his Uygurbiz.com website to recruit followers. The authorities also claim to suspect him of links with the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement, which wants an Islamic state in “Eastern Turkistan” (Xinjiang) and which the Chinese government regards as terrorist organization responsible for acts of violence. To help Tohti, Reporters Without Borders urges everyone to put pressure on authorities to reveal his location by calling as many police stations in Beijing and Urumqi as possible and asking: -> Qing wen, Ilham Tohti zai nali?” (Pinyin) -> Tching wen, Yīlìhāmù Tǔhètí zaï nali? (Phonetic) -> 请问,伊力哈木•土赫提 在哪里 ? Click here : Sina weibo account of the policeFill the contact form of the Police HERE (see how to fill it) Phone numbers of police stations in Beijing :  Agrandir le plan Phone numbers of police stations […]

     
  • Interview: ‘They Are Doing The Exact Opposite of What my Father Suggested’

    Jewher Ilham, the daughter of jailed Uyghur academic Ilham Tohti, is a graduate from Indiana University who has spoken out in support of his peaceful promotion of equal rights and greater autonomy for the Turkic speaking Uyghur ethnic group in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). Tohti, currently serving a life jail term for “separatism,” won the prestigious Martin Ennals Award 2016 for human rights, the Liberal International Prize for Freedom in 2017, and Freedom House’s Freedom Award in 2019. The jailed professor is also a nominee for the 2019 Sakharov Prize and the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize. Ilham spoke to RFA about her father’s case and Beijing’s policies in the XUAR, where authorities are believed to have held more than 1.5 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities accused of harboring “strong religious views” and “politically incorrect” in a vast network of internment camps since April 2017. Ilham referred to the facilities as ‘concentration camps’—a term also used by U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense Randall G. Schriver and the Uyghur exile community. RFA: How do you envision a path to your father’s release from prison? Ilham: Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s happening soon, based on the Chinese government’s recent actions, such as the concentration camps and other Uyghur scholars like [jailed former head of Xinjiang University] Tashpolat Teyip. I haven’t seen good signs, especially since I haven’t heard anything about my father since 2017—his condition, or if he has been transferred to another prison. We don’t know anything about it. But I’m always keeping hope and it’s very important to be positive. If you lose hope, then you lose everything. RFA: After speaking with President Trump and other officials about your father and the situation in the XUAR, do you feel confident that the U.S. government will take meaningful […]

     
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  • Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize awarded to Ilham Tohti

     
  • Ilham Tohti case

     
  • Ilham Tohti autobiography

     
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