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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








Enver Can

  • PRESS RELEASE: Seventh Anniversary of Prof. Ilham Tohti’s Verdict

    Ilham Tohti Initiative e.V. PRESS RELEASE For immediate release: 10:00 CET Date: 23 September 2021 Subject:  Seventh Anniversary of Prof. Ilham Tohti’s Verdict Contact: Enver Can, +491738912048, The Ilham Tohti Initiative e.V. is commemorating the seventh anniversary of Prof. Ilham Tohti’s life imprisonment with growing concern and sorrow about both mental and physical health of the Uyghur scholar. Prof. Tohti was unjustly sentenced to life in prison for “separatism” – a notion he vehemently opposed in 2014 following a two-day show trial in an Urumchi Intermediate Court. Before his imprisonment, Prof. Tohti was an economist at Nationality (Minzu) University of China and an outspoken critic of relations between Uyghurs and the Han majority. Thus, Christina Rendon from Martin Ennals Foundation says” QUOTE “… Ilham Tohti, was granted the Martin Award for human Rights Defenders in 2016, two years after he was condemned to a life behind bars. China’s Mandela has been convicted for “separatism”, while Tohti relied on pen and paper only to foster dialogue and understanding between China’s Han majority and the Muslim Uighur ethnic minority…“.  UNQUOTE In an essay from 2009 focusing on Han Chinese arrogancy, Ilham Tohti wrote: “Diversity and respect and harmonious coexistence in one country is the ideal life that most Uyghurs aspire to. My hunch tells me that Uyghurs are becoming victims of ethnic politics. Some politicians are even using inter-ethnic discord and contradictions to try to divert the main conflict to achieve their ulterior motives. I am afraid that in the future they will probably stir up ethnic conflicts on the structural rocks they think, they need …. creating tragedy.” Some Uyghur observers say, that Ilham Tohti saw the signs of today’s “ethnic genocide” against Uyghur people in advance and warned the Chinese government to take precaution measures accordingly. According to Mr. Enver Can, the founding […]

  • 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 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 by Wu’er Kaixi, Founding Member of the Ilham Tohti Initiative

    Open Letter by Wu’er Kaixi, Founding Member of the Ilham Tohti Initiative, in Support of Ilham Tohti’s Nomination for The Sakharov Prize 11 September, 2016 Exiled democracy activist Wu’er Kaixi presents an open letter to the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament in support of Ilham Tohti’s candidature for the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2016. Dear Presidents, I write to you on behalf of the Ilham Tohti Initiative to urge your support in nominating Ilham Tohti for the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. Ilham Tohti is the most respected intellectual Uyghur spokesperson in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Before being jailed for life in September 2014, Ilham Tohti strived to achieve dialogue and understanding between the Chinese and the Uyghurs – a Muslim-Turkic people who largely inhabit the PRC’s northwestern Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The Uyghurs are subject to religious, cultural and political repression imposed by Beijing. Ilham Tohti’s voice was one of moderation and reconciliation. For this, he received a lifetime jail sentence. For too long we have conveniently ignored the fact that the PRC’s values do not coincide with those of the civilized world – and let us remember that China not only jails its minorities; it jails anyone who defends human rights and gender rights, as well as lawyers and journalists who work in the interest of transparency. In the face of a refugee crisis unprecedented since World War II, as Europe embraces values of tolerance and inclusiveness, the PRC continues to leverage Chinese nationalism to the cost of those on the peripheries it claims governance over – Uyghurs, Tibetans, the citizens of Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Beijing rejects religious, cultural, and political pluralism. As a result, Ilham Tohti, a moderate intellectual who advocated dialogue and mutual understanding, will spend the rest […]

  • Demonstration in front of the Office of German Chancellor Angels Merkel

    A joint demonstration in front of the Office of German Chancellor Angels Merkel hold in Berlin on Monday, 14th of September to protest the beginning of China-EU video-Conference. The Video-Conference was chaired by Ms.Merkel and the current Chair of the European Union. The Ilham Tohti Institute was one of the co-hosts of the demonstration in which Mr. Enver Can, read his open Letter to Ms. Merkel which he sent her two days before calling the German Chancellor to support the human rights of Uyghur people and asked her to help free Prof. Ilham Tohti and bring him to Germany! The demonstration was also addressed by members of the Federal Parliament Ms. Margarete Bause (the Greens) and Ms. Gyde Jensen ( FDP).

  • Offener Brief an Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel in Zusammenhang mit ihre Videogipfel mit der Chinesische President Xi Jinping

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

  • ITI Activities in photo (1)

  • Imprisoned Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti awarded the 2017 Human Rights Prize of the city of Weimar, Germany