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Author Topic: Uyghur Dissident Jailed by China Nominated For Human Rights Award  (Read 287 times)
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September 18, 2016, 08:56:01 AM
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Uyghur Dissident Jailed by China Nominated For Human Rights Award
2016-09-16

http://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/award-09162016123137.html

The European Parliament has named jailed Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti as a finalist for a key human rights award in 2016, for "exceptional individuals and organisations defending human rights and fundamental freedoms."

Tohti, a former professor at the Central University for Nationalities in Beijing, was sentenced to life in prison following his conviction on a charge of “separatism” by the Urumqi Intermediate People's Court in Xinjiang on Sept. 23, 2014.

He was nominated for the Sakharov Prize by EU lawmaker Ilhan Kyuchyuk and 42 colleagues, the Parliament said in a statement on its official website.

Beijing rights activist Hu Jia said Ilham Tohti, a member of the mostly Muslim, Turkic-speaking Uyghur ethnic group, was a clear contender for the award.

"He is the enlightened voice of the Uyghur people and a thorn in the side of the [ruling] Chinese Communist Party," said Hu, who won the Sakharov Prize in 2008. "He also received the heaviest sentence [of recent activists]."

"The ethnic group that he represents has been enslaved, suppressed, and excluded, which has resulted in a lot of hate and violence," he said.

Pressure on China

Hu said the value of the Sakharov Prize for Chinese dissidents lies in the fact that potential winners are nominated by directly elected lawmakers who represent "European values."

"This will put a huge amount of pressure on the Chinese government," he said.

World Uyghur Congress spokesman Dilxat Raxit welcomed the nomination, saying that it sent a clear message that Ilham Tohti is a prisoner of conscience, and not guilty of the charges against him.

"Ilham Tohti was handed a harsh prison sentence for his advocacy of mutual understanding, tolerance, and dialogue between the Uyghurs and the Han Chinese," Raxit told RFA.

"That's why 43 MEPs entered his name as the last of the nominees to make the shortlist," he said.

"This shows that the European Union and the international community have recognized the direct connection between violent incidents in Uyghur lands ... and the discriminatory and aggressive policies implemented by the Chinese government," Raxit said.

A better understanding

Speaking to RFA's Uyghur Service following the announcement, Ilham Tohti Initiative members Enwer Jan and Marie Holzman welcomed the Parliament's decision, saying the nomination shines a light on the Uyghur people's suffering under Chinese rule.

"Although he is now in jail, I congratulate Ilham Tohti on his nomination," Jan, a Uyghur activist, said.

"I see this nomination as a recognition by the international community of the Uyghur people's suffering and the justice of their cause, and I congratulate the Uyghur people as well."

"We do not see this nomination as the final victory," Holzman said, adding, "[A decision] will be revealed at the end of this month."

"But honestly speaking, we consider the nomination a success as well."

"What makes us happy is that, because of Ilham Tohti's nomination for this prize, the members of the European Parliament have begun to promote an understanding of who Ilham Tohti is, what he did, and who the Uyghurs are," she said.

"A tremendous amount of work lies ahead of us."

'Scapegoat'

Associate professor Elliot Sperling of Bloomington University's department of Central Eurasian Studies said Ilham Tohti's nomination recognized that he had been made a "scapegoat" by the Chinese government for tensions in the troubled northwestern region of Xinjiang.

Amid a growing climate of arrests and "disappearances" in the wake of violent unrest in the Xinjiang capital Urumqi in 2009, Ilham Tohti had planned to spend time as a visiting scholar in Sperling's department at Bloomington, Indiana.

But he was detained as he tried to leave China to take up the post in early 2013, and was formally arrested on Jan. 15, 2014 and charged with separatism. His subsequent trial and sentence prompted a wave of international protests and petitions for his release.

China has been keen to portray its Uyghur population as potential terrorists after a wave of violent incidents hit Xinjiang following a police crackdown on a peaceful demonstration in the regional capital, Urumqi, in July 2009.

Fellow nominees for the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought include Turkish journalist Can Dündar and colleagues, the Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzemilev, and Yazidi ISIS survivors and public advocates Nadia Murad Basee and Lamiya Aji Bashar.

The winner will be selected on Oct. 6 after the nominees are presented to committees dealing with foreign affairs, development, and human rights, with the prize announced on Oct. 27, it said.

Reported by Ng Yik-tung and Sing Man for RFA's Cantonese Service, by Xi Wang for the Mandarin Service, and by Ekram Hazim for the Uyghur Service. Translated by Luisetta Mudie and Mamatjan Juma, and written in English by Luisetta Mudie.
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September 18, 2016, 01:19:47 PM
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The Chinese and the Russians know how to deal with the Jihadis. These human rights guys are just paid puppets of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, two of the largest sponsors of terrorism in the world. Has anyone looked into the fact that more than one thousand Uighurs are fighting for the ISIS in Syria and Iraq? Ilham Tohti has never spoken against these people.

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liyueyue8964
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September 18, 2016, 04:05:50 PM
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The Chinese and the Russians know how to deal with the Jihadis. These human rights guys are just paid puppets of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, two of the largest sponsors of terrorism in the world. Has anyone looked into the fact that more than one thousand Uighurs are fighting for the ISIS in Syria and Iraq? Ilham Tohti has never spoken against these people.


scholar Ilham Tohti is not ISIS,  you mother fucking pro-beijing bitch
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September 18, 2016, 04:08:05 PM
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Ilham Tohti
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ilham Tohti
Profesor Ilham Tohti.jpg
Born   25 October 1969 (age 46)
Artush, Xinjiang, China
Nationality   Chinese
Ethnicity   Uyghur
Occupation   Economist, blogger
Known for   Economist at Central Nationalities University

Ilham Tohti[Note 1] (Uyghur: ئىلھام توختى‎, ULY: Ilham Toxti, UYY: Ilⱨam Tohti; Chinese: 伊力哈木·土赫提; pinyin: Yīlìhāmù Tǔhètí; born October 25, 1969) is a Uyghur economist serving a life sentence in China, on separatism-related charges.[1][2] He is known for his research on Uyghur-Han relations and is a vocal advocate for the implementation of regional autonomy laws in China, and was the host of Uyghur Online, a website that discusses Uyghur issues. Tohti was detained shortly after the July 2009 Ürümqi riots by the authorities because of his criticism of the Chinese government's policies toward Uyghurs in Xinjiang. He was later released and then jailed again in January 2014. For his work in the face of adversity he was awarded the PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award (2014).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilham_Tohti
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September 18, 2016, 04:08:43 PM
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Background[edit]
Tohti was born in Artush, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, on October 25, 1969,[3] He graduated from the Northeast Normal University and the Economics School at what was then called the Central Nationalities University, now named Minzu University of China, in Beijing.[3]

In 2006 Tohti founded a website called, Uyghur Online, which published articles in Chinese and Uyghur on social issues.[3][4] In mid-2008 authorities shut down the website, accusing it of forging links to extremists in the Uyghur diaspora.[4] In a March 2009 interview with Radio Free Asia, Tohti criticized the Chinese government's policy to allow migrant workers into Xinjiang Uyghur and the phenomenon of young Uyghur women moving to eastern China to find work.[4] In addition, he criticized Xinjiang Uyghur Governor Nur Bekri for "always stress[ing] the stability and security of Xinjiang" instead of "car[ing] about Uyghurs",[4] calling for a stricter interpretation of China's 1984 Regional Ethnic Autonomy Law.[3] That same month, Tohti was detained by authorities, accused of separatism, and interrogated.[3] After being jailed for life in September 2014 Wang Lixiong wrote in a Twitter message that China had created in Ilham Tohti "a Uighur Mandela".[5] The Chinese News Agency Xinhua dismissed the comparison writing that "[w]hile Mandela preached reconciliation, Ilham Tohti preaches hatred and killing." [6]

Detentions[edit]
On July 5, 2009 ethnic rioting took place between Uyghurs and Han in Ürümqi, the capital of Xinjiang. The government reported that more than 150 people, mostly Han Chinese, were killed during the clashes.[3] On July 6 Uighur Online was cited in a speech by Governor Bekri as a catalyst for the violence because it had helped instigate the rioting by spreading rumors.[3][7]

On July 8, 2009, Radio Free Asia reported that Tohti's whereabouts were unknown after he had been summoned from his home in Beijing.[3] The Chinese dissident Wang Lixiong and his Tibetan activist wife Woeser started an on-line petition calling for Tohti's release,[8][9] which was signed by other dissidents including Ran Yunfei.[7] PEN American Center,[10] Amnesty International,[11] and Reporters Without Borders also issued appeals or statements of concern.[12]

Tohti was released from detention on August 23,[13] along with two other Chinese dissidents, Xu Zhiyong and Zhuang Lu, after pressure on Beijing from the administration of American President Barack Obama.[14][15] Tohti said that during his detention, he was confined to his home and a hotel with several police officers who did not treat him inhumanely.[16][17] He stated that after his release, they warned him against criticism of the government's handling of riots,[16][17] and are preventing him and his family from leaving Beijing.[18]

Chinese authorities arrested and detained Tohti again in January 2014, and removed computers from his home.[19] He was held at a detention center thousands of miles from Beijing in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.[20]

On April 1, 2014, Tohti was awarded the PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award, an American human rights award given to writers anywhere in the world who fight for freedom of expression.[20] According to the statement from PEN, Tohti, was "long harassed by Chinese authorities for his outspoken views on the rights of China's Muslim Uyghur minority. Tohti represents a new generation of endangered writers who use the web and social media to fight oppression and broadcast to concerned parties around the globe. We hope this honor helps awaken Chinese authorities to the injustice being perpetrated and galvanizes the worldwide campaign to demand Tohti's freedom."[20] China's foreign ministry expressed anger at the award, saying that he was a suspected criminal.[21]

After a two-day hearing before the Ürümqi People's Intermediate Court in September 2014, Tohti was found guilty of "separatism", sentenced him to life imprisonment and ordered all of Tohti's assets seized. Amnesty International asserted Tohti's legal team were never shown evidence and furthermore denied access to their client for six months, and condemned the trial as an "affront to justice".[1] His imprisonment is criticized by a number of human rights organizations around the globe; such as Electronic Frontiers Foundation.[22]

On 24 September 2014, United States Secretary of State John Kerry criticized what he called a 'harsh' sentence, and called for Tohti's release.[23]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilham_Tohti
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