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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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  • Seventh Anniversary of Prof. Ilham Tohti’s Arrest

    PRESS RELEASEDate: 15th January 2021, 12:00 (CET)Contact:   Enver Can, enver.can@ web.de; +491738912048 Today, the Uyghur people around the world are commemorating the seventh anniversary of Prof. Ilham Tohti’s imprisonment with growing concern and sorrow about his mental and physical health, as he is kept incommunicado. The Uyghur scholar was arrested at Beijing airport on 15th of January 2014 while leaving for the United States of America as part of a University Exchange Programme.   Prof. Tohti began his studies in 1985 at the Central Minzu University in Beijing. He eventually became a faculty member at the same university and a recognized expert on economic and social issues pertaining to Xinjiang and Central Asia. As a scholar, he has been forthright about problems and abuses in Xinjiang, and his work led to official surveillance and harassment that began as early as 1994. From time to time, he was barred from teaching, and after 1999 he was unable to appear in normal venues.  In order to make the economic, social and developmental issues confronting the Uyghurs known to China’s wider population, Ilham Tohti established the Chinese-language website Uyghurbiz.net in 2006 to foster dialogue and understanding between Uyghurs and Chinese on the Uyghur issue. Over the course of its existence, it was shut down periodically and people writing for it were harassed. Ilham Tohti has adamantly rejected separatism and sought reconciliation by bringing to light Uyghur grievances, information the Chinese state has sought to keep behind a veil of silence. As a result of his efforts, he was sentenced to life in prison in September 2014 following a two-day show trial. Despite political persecution in the years leading up to his trial, he remained a voice of moderation and reconciliation.  Prof. Tohti is known to be kept in the No. 1 prison of Ürümqi since December 2014. In spite of the Chinese law stipulates, he […]

     
  • First Anniversary of Awarding Prof. Ilham Tohti with Sakharov Prize

    For Immediate Release 12:00 (CET)Date: 18 December 2020Contact: Enver Can, enver.can@web.de; +49-1738912048 The Ilham Tohti Initiative reiterates its applaud on the first anniversary of awarding Prof. Ilham Tohti with the Sakharov Prize by the European Parliament, but at the same time calls the European Union to  turn its criticism into action on the human rights issue in its relations with the People’s Republic of China in light of the current deteriorating situation in the Uyghur Autonomous Region of Xinjiang (XUAR). Ilham Tohti, Professor at the Minzu University of Beijing, who advocated ethnic harmony and implementation of Autonomy Laws, was sentenced to life in prison after two days of show-trial on charges of separatism, 23th of September 2014. The Beijing regime wanted to silence the Uyghur scholar behind the bars, but Prof. Tohti and his ideas are now better known by the world community than ever before. Thus Mr. Tohti, also called the ‘Mandela of the Uyghur people’ by some Chinese intellectuals, has won at least 8 international human rights and freedom awards during the last 6 years. Among them the Sakharov Award for ‘Freedom of Thought’ is the most prestigious. He was also a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize since 2018 and one of the five finalists in 2020. Prof. Ilham Tohti is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 2021. Prof. Ilham Tohti is known to be kept in Urumchi Prison Number One against Chinese law though he is a resident of Beijing. His family has not been able to visit him for the last 5 years. Thus, Ms. Margarete Bause, human rights speaker of the Greens at the Federal Parliament (Bundestag) of Germany, draws attention to the importance of honoring Mr. Tohti with the Sakharov Prize last year and describes the Award as a clear signal to the leaders in Beijing to stop […]

     
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  • The First Anniversary of awarding Prof. Ilham Tohti with the Sakharov Prize for “Freedom of Though”

    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.

     
  • Live Webinar in Chinese: The Uyghur Issue (1)

    LIVE WEBINAR IN CHINESE: THE UYGHUR ISSUE (1) AWARENESS, DIALOGUE AND OUTLOOK. The ITI will continue to seek Dialogue as Prof.Ilham Tohti serves Life Term in prison!

     
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  • The Ilham Tohti Institute welcomes the appointment of Mr. Uerkesh Davlet as the Executive Deputy General Secretary of the Taiwan Parliamentary Human Rights Commission

     
  • 从“屯垦戍边”到 “维稳戍边”

     
  • Open Letter by Wu’er Kaixi, Founding Member of the Ilham Tohti Initiative

     
  • Uyghur Economist Freed, Warned [Archive]