The statement by Mr Wu’er Kaixi (also known as Uerkesh Davlet), co-founder and honorary President of the ITI
One year ago today, Ilham Tohti was awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought by the European Parliament for his tenacious effort to bridge a dialogue between the Uyghur people and Chinese authority. For his attempt, the answer from the regime was sentencing him to life in prison. I wrote to the European Parliament members to urge their consideration of the Sakharov Prize for Ilham Tohti. I believe the world should recognize, cherish, commend, and defend the voice of reasoning. That was not much to ask, and I am pleased that my appeal was answered by the brave members of the European Parliament. It was not much to ask that when a regime brutally oppresses its own people, the world should stand on the side of the oppressed. If the world is honest and courageous, the world should take that side and do more than just condemnations. But Professor Ilham Tohti’s lifetime imprisonment is a testimony that we are not living in that ideal world. Sakharov Prize to Ilham, on the other hand, present us hope that it may just go that direction. Ilham Tohti must have had hope when he initiated his one-way dialogue, what man without hope would make that attempt to talk to the Chinese regime, which massacres his own young, unarmed protestors, will undoubtedly be even crueler to ethnic minorities? So on this day, to celebrate the spirit of Prof. Ilham Tohti, we too should remain hopeful, not to the Chinese regime, but rather the world’s awaking against that regime.
Tags: The First Anniversary of awarding Prof. Ilham Tohti with the Sakharov Prize for "Freedom of Though", Uerkesh Davlet