The Ilham Tohti Initiative (ITI e.V.) is an organization based in Germany (Fasanenstr. 79, 85757 Karlsfeld) named after the renowned and unjustly imprisoned Uyghur academic: Professor Ilham Tohti. The ITI is a multi-national entity open to anyone regardless of nationality, ethnicity and religious affiliation, who agrees with Prof. Tohti’s ideals and shares his vision. The Ilham Tohti Initiative has the goal to promote Prof. Ilham Tohti’s ideas and help to put them into reality.These are: friendship and harmony between all peoples living in PRC, including the Uyghur and the Han, peaceful coexistence based on mutual respect, equality, and rule of law. The ITI will promote them internationally as an instrument to help achieve freedom, equality, democracy, peace and stability for the Uyghur people and harmony amongst the numerous ethnicities living in China. To achieve these goals the ITI will: hold international seminars and conferences, publish statements, brochures and other printed materials, engage in advocacy work and cooperate with various international bodies, including democratic governments, UN agencies and NGOs, including the WUC, national and local Parliaments to seek their support and solidarity.
Little is known about the Uyghurs and their situation in Xinjiang. The ITI will both provide general awareness as well as highlight the Chinese repression of Uyghur people, focusing on the case of Prof. Ilham Tohti as an example. The organization will emphasize the fact that even a personality as peaceful as Ilham Tohti will not be tolerated by the Beijing regime despite the fact he would have helped to achieve peace and stability in the region. The ITI’s aim is to bring the Uyghur issue into the agenda of the European Union in its dealings with China. This might help to achieve facilitations of imprisonment for Ilham Tohti or his release.
We will try to engage in meaningful cooperation with Han Chinese overseas democratic movements and intellectuals to build a bridge between Han and Uyghur peoples just like Ilham Tohti. Together we will bring out some information to be distributed to ordinary citizens about co-existence based on mutual respect, trust and acknowledgement amongst Uyghur and Han peoples both abroad and at home. We want to launch a real discussion and dialogue among the Uyghur and the Han for the post CCP era because they are the ones who should really decide what kind of future they want to create for themselves and their children.
The ITI has no authority and right to speak on behalf of Uyghur people or for Uyghur people; neither has it the intention to tell them to choose any kind of political future for themselves. It is up to the Uyghur people to decide on their own political future in a post CCP Democratic China.
We are convinced that Ilham Tohti’s way is a realistic way to overcome the present tensions between Han and Uyghurs. That is why the ITI will propagate his ideas and propose him for international human rights awards such as the Sakharov-Prize, the Thorolf Rafto Memorial Prize and the Nobel Peace Prize. First success: the European Parliament nominated Ilham Tohti for the Sakharov-Prize in 2016.
Enver Can, chairman of the Ilham Tohti Initiative e.V Fasanenstr. 79, 85757 Karlsfeld, Germany, tel.: 081313797673 / 01738912048, mail: email@example.com