CFU Calls for Release of Ilham Tohti on Ninth Anniversary of Imprisonment 



September 25, 2023, 3:30 PM ET

Sabrina Sohail:

(650) 703-4523

Campaign For Uyghurs (CFU), marks the ninth anniversary of the imprisonment of Ilham Tohti, a prominent Uyghur scholar and peaceful advocate. CFU strongly condemns the continued detention of Tohti and demands his immediate release, along with the release of all Uyghur prisoners of conscience.

Ilham Tohti, a vocal supporter of peaceful ethnic harmony amongst ethnic groups in China. He was sentenced to life in prison on September 23, 2014, on unfounded charges of separatism. His courageous efforts to bridge divides and promote understanding have been met with repression, denying him not only his freedom but also silencing an influential voice for Uyghur rights.

Jewher Ilham, daughter of Tohti, said the following about her father’s unjust imprisonment, “My father Ilham Tohti never wanted to be seen as a political figure, he is an academic, a respectable intellectual who wants nothing but to help his people and to build a bridge between ethnic groups. But the Chinese government brutally silenced him and separated him from our family! The kind of draconian and unimaginable sentence, and treatment that my father and other intellectuals face have proven that the Chinese government has little to zero respect for its own constitution nor for the concept of protecting human rights.”

Executive Director Rushan Abbas, states, “Ilham Tohti’s imprisonment is emblematic of the Chinese government’s relentless persecution of Uyghur people. We stand in solidarity with Ilham Tohti and condemn the baseless charges brought against him. We stand united in demanding his immediate release, along with the release of all Uyghur prisoners of conscience. As we shine a spotlight on their unjust plight, let us work together to bring an end to the rampant human rights violations in East Turkistan and ensure justice and freedom for the Uyghur people.”

CFU calls on international governments, human rights organizations, and individuals around the world to join in a collective effort to demand the immediate release of Ilham Tohti. As we observe this unfortunate milestone, let us not forget the many intellectuals who have been unjustly silenced and ensure that their voices are the driving force in our pursuit of justice and freedom for the Uyghur people.



Campaign for Uyhgurs

We defend the human rights of uyghur people and the free world by exposing and confronting the chinese government's genocide, and empowering uyghur women and youth in the diaspora.



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