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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








Archive for March, 2020

  • China Change: Ilham Tohti

    On 15 January 2014, Chinese authorities arrested Ilham Tohti, a Uighur economics professor at the prestigious Minzu University in Beijing. Today, February 16, marks the 32nd day of his detention. His family has yet to receive any legal document detailing his whereabouts or the charges against him. For years, Tohti has discussed and commented on not only Chinese policies in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, where the vast majority of this Turkic Muslim population lives, but also the state of Han-Uighur relations. He founded the Chinese-language website 维吾尔在线 (Uighurs Online), which is meant to facilitate communication and understanding between the two peoples. Today, China Change launches an “Ilham Tohti” button on its homepage. A group of concerned scholars and experts will collect, post, and update information regarding Professor Tohti in an effort to raise awareness of his detention and press for his release. We have created a ‘Free Ilham Campaign’ Twitter account. Please consider following @FreeIlham, including our Twitter handle, and using the hashtag #FreeIlham when you post news, comments, or links about Ilham Tohti. Statements by International Human Rights Advocacy Organizations Amnesty International Amnesty International is a global movement of more than 3 million supporters, members and activists in over 150 countries and territories who campaign to end grave abuses of human rights. Our vision is for every person to enjoy all the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards. We are independent of any government, political ideology, economic interest or religion, and are funded mainly by our membership and public donations. URGENT ACTION: UIGHUR SCHOLAR TAKEN FROM HIS HOME URGENT ACTION: Uighur scholar AT RISK OF DEATH SENTENCE, 26 February 2014 Amnesty International Taiwan 中國|維吾爾學者伊力哈木・土赫提被從家中帶走 Chinese Human Rights Defenders Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) is a network of Chinese and international activists promoting human […]

  • Ilham Tohti Deserves to be a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

    November 25, 2018 Despite knowing the consequences for his actions, Professor Tohti still advocated for a lasting, peaceful relationship between the Han Chinese and the Uyghur people.He spoke about ending the poverty of the people in Xinjiang (East Turkistan.)He spoke about ending the restrictions on religious observance.He spoke about ending the crackdown on Turkic peoples.He spoke about the rights guaranteed under China’s constitution.He spoke about Han and Uyghur living together in peace and harmony.He was jailed and sentenced to life in prison. This is a call to action to support the recognition of Ilham Tohti’s efforts to bring the people of China together and show the Chinese authorities we support the bridge he tried to build between people. While online petitions and forms do make voices heard, a physical letter from constituents has a greater impact. Please take the opportunity to copy the text below or use your own words to call for non-partisan support for Ilham Tohti to be the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.The following link will provide the means to find the address of your Representative and Senators in the US Congress (and in most cases, an email address as well): ###The Honorable (name)Address Sir / Madame,I am writing this letter to urge you to support Ilham Tohti’s nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize.A college professor at a government university, Ilham Tohti peacefully advocated for the rights guaranteed under the Chinese constitution; Chinese authorities sentenced him to life in prison. Ilham Tohti spoke about poverty and how it could be overcome,Ilham Tohti decried the crackdown against the Uyghur people and asked for change,Ilham Tohti embraced friendship among all China’s people,Ilham Tohti spoke about his rights under the constitution of the People’s Republic of China,Ilham Tohti knew what his fate would be and that did not sway him from […]

  • 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 “” 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 […]

  • Where has Ilham Tohti been held since 15 January?

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

  • Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize awarded to Ilham Tohti

  • China slams European Parliament for award to ‘terrorist’ Ilham Tohti