CFU Urges Immediate Release of Professor Ilham Tohti



Jan 15th, 2024, 2:00 PM ET

Sabrina Sohail:

(650) 703-4523

On the ten year anniversary of the unjust imprisonment of Professor Ilham Tohti, a distinguished Uyghur academic and a prominent advocate for inter-ethnic harmony, Campaign For Uyghurs (CFU) denounces his wrongful imprisonment and calls for his immediate and unconditional release. 

Detained since January 14, 2014, Professor Ilham Tohti was unjustly sentenced to life imprisonment on baseless charges of “separatism” on September 23, 2014. Professor Tohti, a vocal supporter of ethnic harmony, has worked tirelessly to establish common ground between Uyghurs and the Han Chinese to subvert discrimination and hatred against the Uyghur people. He has written countless pieces to peacefully convince the Chinese government to change their policy towards occupied East Turkistan

Professor Tohti’s detention is a flagrant violation of international law and humanitarian principles. The U.S. State Department, in a statement issued today, proclaimed that this injustice represents “the PRC’s efforts to silence those brave enough to speak out against the government’s discriminatory practices…which include genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.” 

Professor Tohti’s extraordinary compassion and unwavering commitment to justice have earned him various accolades, including the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders, the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize, Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, all in absentia. Professor Tohti was also nominated for the 2024 Nobel Peace Prize by more than 180 high-level officials and experts, citing his role as “the true symbol of the Uyghur people’s fight for freedom.” 

CFU Executive Director Rushan Abbas in a statement declared  “Today, in unwavering solidarity, we call for the immediate and unconditional release of Professor Ilham Tohti and denounce the unfounded charges against him. Professor Tohti’s unjust incarceration serves as a poignant reminder of the relentless persecution endured by the Uyghur people at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party. As we mark the tenth anniversary, we recognize a man who has sacrificed his freedom since 2004 for his peaceful advocacy for Uyghurs, let us unite to expose the heinous crimes of the Chinese regime and join forces to bring an end to the ongoing genocide in East Turkistan.”

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, we reiterate our call for justice for the many intellectuals who have been unjustly silenced by the Chinese regime and renew our commitment to campaign for 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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