Ilham Tohti, 50, is a Uyghur economist who has been sentenced to life imprisonment in 2014 when the Chinese Authoritarian State found him guilty of spreading “separatism” beliefs through his website which has been shut-down since his unjust, arbitrary detention. Several NGOs have stated that there has never been shown evidence of Tohti engaging in the distribution of beliefs which included unlawful actions.  

The Uyghurs are a minority ethnic group whom have been recognized as natives to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China. The Uyghurs have faced persecutions and abuses from the Chinese Authoritarian Government and one million (1.000.000) have been detained in “internment camps” since 2014. The alleged purpose of these camps is to re-educate the Uyghur minority which is predominantly Sunni Muslim.

Ilham condemned these acts of systematic, arbitrary detentions under a campaign of state terrorism by targeting a specific group, and because of exercising his right to freedom of speech he became a target of the same state terrorism campaign. 

Tohti is a scholar, with academic excellence who has analyzed the situation of the Uyghur minority and was a critique of the economic and social exclusion from the rest of China. He currently, unjustly serves a life in prison for his heroic activism and defense of fundamental rights of Uyghurs in China. 

The international community and inter-governmental bodies must address the situation the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations, Michelle Bachelet, to demand a proper and transparent investigation according to international standards of the Tohti case and to immediately cease the systematic detentions of the Uyghur minority within the State terrorism campaign.