Press release, March 3, 2017

The situation in Xinjiang is rapidly deteriorating. We, the members of ITI, deplore the fact that Xinjiang’s Communist Party secretary Chen Quanguo should use such vocabulary : “Bury the corpses of terrorists and terror gangs in the vast sea of the people’s war” when mentioning the hundreds of people who have died under the violent movement of repression which is actually taking place in Xinjiang. We … Continue reading Press release, March 3, 2017

Ilham Tothi prison appeal

Ilham Tohti is the most renowned Uyghur public intellectual in the People’s Republic of China. For over two decades he has worked tirelessly to foster dialogue and understanding between Uyghurs and Chinese over the present-day repressive religious, cultural and political conditions of the Uyghurs, a Muslim Turkic people living mostly in modern China’s northwestern Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. As a result of his efforts he was sentenced in September 2014, to life in prison following a two-day show trial. He remains a voice of moderation and reconciliation in spite of what has been done to him. Continue reading “Ilham Tothi prison appeal”

Commemoration of the Guldja Massacre

The Ilham Tohti Initiative commemorates the 20th Anniversary of the Guldja (Yining in Chinese) Massacre and pays respect to its more that 100 victims  in the Uyghur Autonomous region.

The Chinese security forces had arrested peaceful demonstrators on the 5th February 1997, and then opened fire in the streets of Guldja until the 8th of February as demonstrations became more vocal, asking for the release of the Uyghurs arrested by the police.

The demonstration was held to call for an end of the religious repression and ethnic discrimination. The Chinese authorities repressed the demonstrations brutally, and subsequently detained and arrested up to 4 000 people. It is considered more than 200 of them were sentenced to death in show trials and executed during the following two years. At least 90 Uyghurs were sentenced to long prison terms. Continue reading “Commemoration of the Guldja Massacre”

In memory of Eliott Sperling

Ilham Tohti Initiative (ITI) is very sad to announce the sudden death of its long time friend Elliot Sperling, in New York, on the 28th of February. A brilliant scholar of East Asian Studies Elliot Sperling was well known for his understanding of Tibet history, his mastery of the Chinese language, and his friendship with Ilham Tohti, prominent Uyghur economist, unjustly jailed in 2014 and … Continue reading In memory of Eliott Sperling