30 August 2020
Dear Mr. Mass,
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 the internment camps. As the current President of the European Union, it is the moral and political responsibility of Germany to tell China that the systematic implemntation of Genocide against the Uyghur people should not, under any circumstances, be ignored.
President of Ilham Tohti Institute
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