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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Archive for August, 2020

 
  • 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 […]

     
  • Outspoken Economist Presumed Held [Archive]

    RFA 2009.07.08 An outspoken economist belonging to the Uyghur ethnic minority is presumed to be detained after police surrounded his home in Beijing. HONG KONG—An outspoken economist from China’s Uyghur ethnic minority, whose blog was cited for allegedly instigating deadly ethnic clashes in Xinjiang, has gone silent and his whereabouts are unknown after he reported police had summoned him from his Beijing home. “Police have been watching my home for two days now,” Ilham Tohti, an economics professor at the Central Nationalities University in Beijing, said July 7 in a telephone interview, two days after deadly clashes in the northwestern city of Urumqi killed at least 156 people. “They are calling me now, and I have to go. I may be out of touch for some time,” he told RFA’s Uyghur service. “I wasn’t involved in anything, but I am not safe. The police are calling me,” Tohti said, and then hung up. Subsequent phone calls rang unanswered. On July 6, he told RFA’s Cantonese service that he had gathered information on the clashes but wouldn’t release it because the timing was too sensitive.  Uyghur Online publishes in Chinese and Uyghur and is widely seen as a moderate, intellectual Web site addressing social issues. Authorities have closed it on several previous occasions. Tohti’s blog, Uyghur Online, was specifically targeted in a July 5 speech by the governor of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), Nur Bekri, as an instigator of the clashes, along with exiled Uyghur leader Rebiya Kadeer. Tohti’s last blog entry, published through a U.S. server at 10:52 a.m. Beijing time July 7 and now blocked inside China, reads:  “As the editor of Uyghur Online, I want only to tell Nur Bekri, ‘You are right, everything you say is right, because you will decide everything. I have already […]

     
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  • Economist Speaks Out Again [Archive]

    RFA 2009.05.12 A prominent Uyghur economist takes outspoken aim at the Chinese government’s handling of his native Xinjiang region. HONG KONG—A prominent economist from China’s mainly Muslim Uyghur ethnic minority has called on authorities to ease curbs on free expression and foster greater economic opportunity for Uyghurs in their native Xinjiang region, where poverty and joblessness are commonplace. Ilham Tohti, an economics professor at the Central Nationalities University in Beijing, said he was interrogated repeatedly and accused of separatism after he spoke out in March against Chinese policies in Xinjiang.  He said at the time that unemployment remains the single biggest problem in Xinjiang and that Uyghurs have suffered under the current governor. “There are visible changes in China,” he said in an interview. “But in terms of freedom and democracy, Xinjiang’s situation is the worst of the worst-compared with other regions of China. “What I have encountered at this time is typical. My Web site was shut down without notice. I was interrogated many times and threatened. I am a legal Beijing resident, and by law I should not be interrogated by Xinjiang police officials, but it has happened.” “This shows how long the local authorities’ reach is. They accused me of separatism,” he said. “But is demanding implementation of the autonomy law separatism?” I have received more than 1,000 e-mails from intellectuals—Chinese, Tibetans, and Uyghurs—all saying they are behind me.” Ilham Tohti, economist China’s 1984 Regional Ethnic Autonomy Law is the main legal framework for managing the affairs of China’s ethnic minorities, and it promises a high degree of autonomy for minority groups. Critics say its implementation in many areas has been weak. “There is no major problem with the main points of the central government’s policy,” Tohti said. Sharp criticism His goal, he said, is “equal opportunity […]

     
  • Uyghur Economist Silenced [Archive]

    RFA 2009-03-26 HONG KONG – Chinese authorities have warned a prominent economist from China’s mainly Muslim Uyghur ethnic minority against speaking or writing publicly after he criticized China’s handling of his native Xinjiang region, friends and colleagues who have seen him in recent days said. Ilham Tohti, an economics professor at the Central Nationalities University in Beijing, “is working as usual, but he’s being questioned by state security police after class every day,” one friend who spoke on condition of anonymity said in an interview. Other friends, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said Tohti had been warned against speaking or writing in the media.  “His Web site has been shut down. We don’t know how long this situation will continue,” one friend said. In a blog post dated March 12, Tohti himself wrote: “I apologize to my readers, but I’m told I must be silent for some time. I am facing unbelievable threats and pressure now, but whatever happens, I call on my friends to stay firmly on course.” Officials contacted by telephone on Wednesday at the Central Nationalities University’s economics, security, and propaganda departments declined to comment on Tohti or where he could be reached. Outspoken interview In an interview earlier this month, Tohti sharply criticized Chinese policies in the northwestern Xinjiang region where he was born, saying that joblessness remains the single biggest problem and residents have suffered under the current governor. “Unemployment has existed in Xinjiang since the 1950s,” Tohti told RFA’s Uyghur service after returning home to Beijing from a weeklong academic exchange in France. “No matter what … I will still talk about the issue of unemployment.” He also sharply criticized the governor of Xinjiang, Nur Bekri, as incompetent. “I think he’s unqualified … I don’t know how he became governor of Xinjiang, […]

     
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  • The genocide committed by Chen Quanguo and the CCP against Uyghurs will eventually be tried!

     
  • Uyghur Scholar Calls for Jobs [Archive]

     
  • Founding Assembly Conference of Ilham Tohti Initiative [Archive]

     
  • Uyghur Web Site Shut Down [Archive]