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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Press release

 
  • Seventh Anniversary of Prof. Ilham Tohti’s Arrest

    PRESS RELEASEDate: 15th January 2021, 12:00 (CET)Contact:   Enver Can, enver.can@ web.de; +491738912048 Today, the Uyghur people around the world are commemorating the seventh anniversary of Prof. Ilham Tohti’s imprisonment with growing concern and sorrow about his mental and physical health, as he is kept incommunicado. The Uyghur scholar was arrested at Beijing airport on 15th of January 2014 while leaving for the United States of America as part of a University Exchange Programme.   Prof. Tohti began his studies in 1985 at the Central Minzu University in Beijing. 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. As a scholar, he has been forthright about problems and abuses in Xinjiang, and his work led to official surveillance and harassment that began as early as 1994. From time to time, he was barred from teaching, and after 1999 he was unable to appear in normal venues.  In order to make the economic, social and developmental issues confronting the Uyghurs known to China’s wider population, Ilham Tohti established the Chinese-language website Uyghurbiz.net in 2006 to foster dialogue and understanding between Uyghurs and Chinese on the Uyghur issue. Over the course of its existence, it was shut down periodically and people writing for it were harassed. Ilham Tohti has adamantly rejected separatism and sought reconciliation by bringing to light Uyghur grievances, information the Chinese state has sought to keep behind a veil of silence. As a result of his efforts, he was sentenced to life in prison in September 2014 following a two-day show trial. Despite political persecution in the years leading up to his trial, he remained a voice of moderation and reconciliation.  Prof. Tohti is known to be kept in the No. 1 prison of Ürümqi since December 2014. In spite of the Chinese law stipulates, he […]

     
  • First Anniversary of Awarding Prof. Ilham Tohti with Sakharov Prize

    For Immediate Release 12:00 (CET)Date: 18 December 2020Contact: Enver Can, enver.can@web.de; +49-1738912048 The Ilham Tohti Initiative reiterates its applaud on the first anniversary of awarding Prof. Ilham Tohti with the Sakharov Prize by the European Parliament, but at the same time calls the European Union to  turn its criticism into action on the human rights issue in its relations with the People’s Republic of China in light of the current deteriorating situation in the Uyghur Autonomous Region of Xinjiang (XUAR). Ilham Tohti, Professor at the Minzu University of Beijing, who advocated ethnic harmony and implementation of Autonomy Laws, was sentenced to life in prison after two days of show-trial on charges of separatism, 23th of September 2014. The Beijing regime wanted to silence the Uyghur scholar behind the bars, but Prof. Tohti and his ideas are now better known by the world community than ever before. Thus Mr. Tohti, also called the ‘Mandela of the Uyghur people’ by some Chinese intellectuals, has won at least 8 international human rights and freedom awards during the last 6 years. Among them the Sakharov Award for ‘Freedom of Thought’ is the most prestigious. He was also a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize since 2018 and one of the five finalists in 2020. Prof. Ilham Tohti is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 2021. Prof. Ilham Tohti is known to be kept in Urumchi Prison Number One against Chinese law though he is a resident of Beijing. His family has not been able to visit him for the last 5 years. Thus, Ms. Margarete Bause, human rights speaker of the Greens at the Federal Parliament (Bundestag) of Germany, draws attention to the importance of honoring Mr. Tohti with the Sakharov Prize last year and describes the Award as a clear signal to the leaders in Beijing to stop […]

     
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  • The Ilham Tohti Institute welcomes the appointment of Mr. Uerkesh Davlet as the Executive Deputy General Secretary of the Taiwan Parliamentary Human Rights Commission

                                      PRESS RELEASE For immediate Release (CET)Subject: Mr. Uerkesh Davlet’s Appointment Date 26 November 2020 Contact: Enver Can +491738912048 enver.can@web.de The Ilham Tohti Institute (ITI) welcomes the appointment of Mr. Uerkesh Davlet (also known as Wu’er Kaixi) as the Executive Deputy General Secretary of the Taiwan Parliamentary Human Rights Commission. This represents an appropriate move in light of the deteriorating human rights situation of the Uyghurs, as the Chinese Government have been implementing a policy of genocide on the entire Uyghur population. Mr. Davlet, a co-founder of the ITI and the Honorary President of the Ilham Tohti Institute, was the first best known Uyghur political figure around the world after his courageous leading role during the Tiananmen protests in 1989. Wu’er Kaixi who had arrived on the scene in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, in mid-April 1989, the very beginning of the student movement,  had quickly emerged as one of the most outspoken student leaders as the size of the crowds increased and after organizing the most successful demonstration of the 1989 movement on 27 April, was elected as the founding President of the Autonomous independent student’s association at Beijing Normal University.  Mr. Enver Can, President of the ITI, who used to work as a journalist at the Munich based RFE/RL, recalls his memory of more than three decades ago and says, he was excited and proud hearing a student from Uyghur origin named Wu’er Kaixi has told Chinese Prime Minister (May 1989) Li Pen. “I understand it is quite rude of me to interrupt you, Premier, but there are people sitting out there in the square, being hungry, as we sit here and exchange pleasantries. We are only here to discuss concrete matters, Sir.” Mr. Davlet in reply to the ITI’s question and expressing his happiness to being appointed as the Executive Deputy Secretary General, says that one […]

     
  • Open letter to Mr. Heiko Maas, Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Germany

    30 August 2020 Dear Mr. Maas, On the 23rd of September, it will be the sixth Anniversary of the  verdict of Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti who was accused of so called “Separatism“ and sentenced to life in prison. Prof. Ilham Tohti whom is also called “the Mandela of Uyghur people“ had campaigned for the Uyghur people’s human rights and the implementation of the Autonomy Laws promised to the Uyghurs, but the Chinese Regime decided to silence him behind the bars. Ilham Tohti is kept in Urumchi Prison No. 1 in solitary confinement. We have no information about his wellbeing and his family, including his wife and children, have not been able to visit him for more than 3 years now. Therefore we are very much concerned about Ilham Tohti’s health and mental state. Since his imprisonment, the human rights situation of the Uyghur people has been steadily deteriorating:  in the past 3 years, 1 to 3 million Uyghurs have been detained in Chinese interment camps, Uyghur women have been sterilised in an attempt to decrease Uyghur population, Uyghurs have been subjected to forced labour and modern slavery, Uyghur language has been banned in education, civil adminstrations and in the wider public, even basic expressions of religious sentiment have been criminalised, Uyghur mosques, shrines, graveyards and homes have been destroyed, children have been taken away from their families and the Chinese Communist Party is actively implementing these policies to eradicate the Uyghur cultural and ethnic identity with forcible assimilations. These atrocities aligne with the definition of genocide under the UN Genocide Convention.  Mr. Maas, considering the above situation, I would like to ask you to defend the rights of Uyghur people during your talks with Mr. Wang Yi and urge your Chinese counterpart to release Ilham Tohti, and all Uyghur prisoners and close […]

     
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  • Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2019

     
  • Mr. Uerkesh Davlet’s election as the Honorary President of the Board of Directors of the Ilham Tohti Institute

     
  • ئۇيغۇر ئاكادېمىيىسىنىڭ ئىنىستىتۇتىمىز ئۈستىدىكى رەددىيە باياناتىنى تور بېتىدىن ئۆچۈرۋەتكەنلىكى ھەققىدە

     
  • ئۇيغۇر ئاكادېمىيىسىنىڭ خاتا يېزىلغان باياناتىنى قايتۇرۇۋېلىشى ھەققىدە چاقىرىق