Chinese economist and activist
Ilham Tohti is a Uyghur economist serving a life sentence in China, on separatism-related charges. He is a vocal advocate for the implementation of regional autonomy laws in China, was the host of Uyghur Online, a website that discusses Uyghur issues, and is known for his research on Uyghur-Han relations. Tohti was detained shortly after the July 2009 Ürümqi riots by the authorities because of his criticism of the Chinese government's policies toward Uyghurs in Xinjiang. He was later released and then jailed again in January 2014. For his work in the face of adversity he was awarded the PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award (2014), the Martin Ennals Award (2016), the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize (2019), and the Sakharov Prize (2019).
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