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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

 

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  • My ideals and the career path I have chosen

    By Ilham Tohti, January 17, 2011 On January 15, 2014, Chinese authorities arrested Ilham Tohti, a Uighur economics professor at the prestigious Minzu University in Beijing. Authorities formally charged him with separatism on February 25, and have so far denied him access to his attorney. 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 (Uighur Online), which is meant to facilitate communication and understanding between the two peoples. The PEN American Center has recently named Ilham as the 2014 PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award winner. The following autobiographic essay, written in January, 2011, provides a much-needed portrait of the man. In dealing with Ilham’s case, we demand that the Chinese government acts transparently and in accordance with its own Criminal Procedure Law as well as international norms. – The Editor 1. My upbringing and my ideals 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 my father was among the first generation of educated Uighurs brought up in New China. At the end of the 1950s, after my father graduated from middle school, he was sent to the interior of China for college. He studied at the Central University for Nationalities [now Minzu University], Beijing Normal University, and Lanzhou Railway Institute. After graduation, he worked at the Southern Xinjiang People’s Liberation Army (PLA) military zone, and then as a civilian. In 1971, at the age of 28, my father died tragically during the Cultural Revolution. I was two, and my little brother was only 11 months […]

     
  • Ilham Tohti autobiography

    Ilham Tohti wrote this autobiography back in 2011 to ensure that he maintains a written account of his life, including his understanding and position regarding the Uyghur issue as well as the motivation behind his actions. Below is a copy of his account of these things: 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 my father was among the first generation of educated Uighurs brought up in New China. At the end of the 1950s, after my father graduated from middle school, he was sent to the interior of China for college. He studied at the Central University for Nationalities [now Minzu University], Beijing Normal University, and Lanzhou Railway Institute. After graduation, he worked at the Southern Xinjiang People’s Liberation Army (PLA) military zone, and then as a civilian. In 1971, at the age of 28, my father died tragically during the Cultural Revolution. I was two, and my little brother was only 11 months old. It was my mother who raised the four of us, my brothers and me, while doing auto repair work in Atush. Today, most of my father’s colleagues have become XUAR-level cadres. The older generation has kept silent about the past, and I have not understood the complicated politics of the time. As a result, while we are proud of our father, I don’t really know what kind of a person he was and how he died. In 1980, my eldest brother joined the army at age 15, but he soon left the army and pursued studies in universities in Shanghai, Urumqi, Dalian, and Beijing. As a cadre, he served as […]

     
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