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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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Post Tagged with: "Jewher Ilham"

 
  • Trump Meets Survivors of Religious Persecution, Jailed Uyghur Professor Ilham Tohti’s Daughter

    US President Donald Trump meets with survivors of religious persecution in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, July 17, 2019. AFP U.S. President Donald Trump met with more than two dozen survivors of religious persecution on Wednesday, including the daughter of a jailed Uyghur professor in China, a Rohingya Muslim who fled state-sponsored violence in Myanmar, and Christians from North Korea, Myanmar and Vietnam. The unscheduled meeting saw Trump host 27 representatives of groups from 16 nations the White House said have suffered violations of religious freedom, including four people from China, and came as the U.S. State Department is hosting its second annual Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom in Washington from July 16-18. “With us today are men and women of many different religious traditions, from many different countries, but what you have in common is that each of you have suffered tremendously for your faith,” he said in welcoming the survivors, noting that they had collectively endured “harassment, threats, attacks, trials, imprisonment, and torture.” “Each of you has now become a witness to the importance of advancing religious liberty all around the world … If people are not free to practice their faith, then all of the freedoms are at risk and, frankly, freedoms don’t mean very much.” Among those Trump met on Wednesday was Jewher Tohti, the daughter of jailed Uyghur professor Ilham Tohti, who regularly highlighted the religious and cultural persecution of Uyghurs in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), but was charged with promoting ethnic separatism and handed a life sentence by a Chinese court on Sept. 23, 2014 following a two-day trial. Tohti told the president about the region’s network of internment camps, where authorities are believed to have detained up to 1.5 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities accused […]

     
  • Sakharov Prize: daughter of 2019 laureate Ilham Tohti receives prize on his behalf

    EU affairs  Updated:  19-12-2019 Jewher Ilham (left) receiving the award from Parliament President David Sassoli   Ilham Tohti’s daughter Jewher Ilham accepted the 2019 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought on 18 December on behalf of her jailed father. Ilham Tohti, a Uyghur scholar fighting for the rights of China’s Muslim Uyghur minority, has been in jail since 2014 on separatism-related charges. Presenting the award, Parlimaent President David Sassoli said: “Ilham Tohti, with his activism, managed to give a voice to the Uyghurs. […] He has been working for 20 years to promote dialogue and mutual understanding between them and other Chinese people. “Today should be a moment of joy, to celebrate freedom of speech. Instead, it is a day of sadness. Once again, this chair is empty, because in the world we are living, exercising our freedom of thought does not always mean being free.” Accepting the award during the ceremony in Strasbourg, Jewher Ilham said: “It is an honour to be at the European Parliament today to accept the Sakharov Prize on behalf of my father. I am grateful for the opportunity to tell his story, because he cannot tell it himself. To be honest with you, I do not know where my father is. 2017 was the last time my family received word about him. “Today, there is no freedom for Uyghurs in China… Not at school, not in public, not even in private homes. My father, like most Uyghurs, has been labelled a violent extremist, with a disease that needs to be cured and a mind that needs to be washed.. It is under this false label of extremism that the government has put one million people – probably more – into ‘concentration camps’ where Uyghurs are forced to give up their religion, language and culture, […]

     
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  • Jewher Ilham: My Father, My Country

    Dec 06, 2017 Huffpost This week, Chinese President Xi Jinping will arrive in Washington D.C. to meet with President Barack Obama. It will be President Xi’s first state visit to the U.S. and an impressive—and tight—itinerary of bi-lateral talks, meetings, banquets and receptions await him. The visit will certainly underscore the need for open and clear lines of communication between China and the United States in order to reach understanding on the issues of disagreement dogging Sino-American relations. I support this effort to have a fruitful dialogue between these two countries, and have never been swayed by early calls for the state visit and its attendant discussions to be cancelled. But ironically, while China’s president is enjoying the hospitality of his hosts in this country, engaging in dialogue with those who disagree with him on many issues, scores of well-known dissidents and an unknown number of lesser known writers, artists, intellectuals, and activists will be languishing in the prisons that his government oversees for seeking to do nothing other than what he himself will be doing this week. One of those imprisoned writers is my father, Ilham Tohti. At this very moment he sits in prison in Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, the area where most of our Uyghur compatriots reside. September 23 will mark a year since he was sentenced to life in prison. His crime? Writing, teaching, and operating a blog intended to bring Han Chinese and Uyghurs—a Turkic Muslim minority group in China—together peacefully to understand the issues and discontents that have caused so much misery and repression among Uyghurs. His work has been honored with numerous international awards, including the 2014 PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award. Now, in sharp contrast, he sits every day in shackles and is subjected to a […]

     
  • Interview: ‘They Are Doing The Exact Opposite of What my Father Suggested’

    Jewher Ilham, the daughter of jailed Uyghur academic Ilham Tohti, is a graduate from Indiana University who has spoken out in support of his peaceful promotion of equal rights and greater autonomy for the Turkic speaking Uyghur ethnic group in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). Tohti, currently serving a life jail term for “separatism,” won the prestigious Martin Ennals Award 2016 for human rights, the Liberal International Prize for Freedom in 2017, and Freedom House’s Freedom Award in 2019. The jailed professor is also a nominee for the 2019 Sakharov Prize and the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize. Ilham spoke to RFA about her father’s case and Beijing’s policies in the XUAR, where authorities are believed to have held more than 1.5 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities accused of harboring “strong religious views” and “politically incorrect” in a vast network of internment camps since April 2017. Ilham referred to the facilities as ‘concentration camps’—a term also used by U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense Randall G. Schriver and the Uyghur exile community. RFA: How do you envision a path to your father’s release from prison? Ilham: Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s happening soon, based on the Chinese government’s recent actions, such as the concentration camps and other Uyghur scholars like [jailed former head of Xinjiang University] Tashpolat Teyip. I haven’t seen good signs, especially since I haven’t heard anything about my father since 2017—his condition, or if he has been transferred to another prison. We don’t know anything about it. But I’m always keeping hope and it’s very important to be positive. If you lose hope, then you lose everything. RFA: After speaking with President Trump and other officials about your father and the situation in the XUAR, do you feel confident that the U.S. government will take meaningful […]

     
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