Despite knowing the consequences for his actions, Professor Tohti still advocated for a lasting, peaceful relationship between the Han Chinese and the Uyghur people.
He spoke about ending the poverty of the people in Xinjiang (East Turkestan.)
He spoke about ending the restrictions on religious observance.
He spoke about ending the crackdown on Turkic peoples.
He spoke about the rights guaranteed under China’s constitution.
He spoke about Han and Uyghur living together in peace and harmony.
He was jailed and sentenced to life in prison.
This is a call to action to support the recognition of Ilham Tohti’s efforts to bring the people of China together and show the Chinese authorities we support the bridge he tried to build between people.
While online petitions and forms do make voices heard, a physical letter from constituents has a greater impact. Please take the opportunity to copy the text below or use your own words to call for non-partisan support for Ilham Tohti to be the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.
The following link will provide the means to find the address of your Representative and Senators in the US Congress (and in most cases, an email address as well):
The Honorable (name)
Sir / Madame,
I am writing this letter to urge you to support Ilham Tohti’s nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize.
A college professor at a government university, Ilham Tohti peacefully advocated for the rights guaranteed under the Chinese constitution; Chinese authorities sentenced him to life in prison.
Ilham Tohti spoke about poverty and how it could be overcome,
Ilham Tohti decried the crackdown against the Uyghur people and asked for change,
Ilham Tohti embraced friendship among all China’s people,
Ilham Tohti spoke about his rights under the constitution of the People’s Republic of China,
Ilham Tohti knew what his fate would be and that did not sway him from his goal of peace and friendship.
Please support Ilham Tohti’s nomination to be a Nobel Peace laureate and do not let his sacrifice be in vain. Ilham Tohti’s bravery and determination for peace and harmony embodies the ideals of the Nobel Peace prize.
The Governments of Australia, Germany, Japan, Taiwan and the United States, and the European Council:
We are a group of students, scholars and professionals from China and Chinese-occupied territories. We call upon you to urge China to release the well-regarded Uyghur human rights leader Prof. Ilham Tohti, amid reports of students, scholars and professionals dying in concentration camps and prisons in the occupied East Turkestan.
The Chinese occupation authorities have been cracking down on Uyghurs by widespread surveillance, restriction of the use of their language, elimination of cultural and religious expressions, forcible political indoctrination, family separation and mass incarceration. Prof. Ilham criticized such oppressive policies and called for dialogue, reconciliation and the autonomy China promised. Serving a life sentence now, he has suffered physical abuse and been banned from corresponding with his family.
In China’s “re-education” camps, “training classes” and other jails, notable detainees have been tortured to death, including Prof. Halmurat Ghophur, a prominent medical scientist, Imam Muhammad Salih Hajim, the first scholar to translate the Quran into Uyghur, and at least two students who had been forced to return from Egypt. Their deaths, together with other deaths yet to be found and exposed, make us extremely concerned about Prof. Ilham’s life.
To save Prof. Ilham from today’s biggest ethnic cleansing and political murder spree, we appeal for your intense pressure on China’s anti-humanity regime. We look forward to the international community’s moral courage facing China which it used to show in the face of the Nazis.
—to be a co-signer—
Extrajudicial Detention & Arbitrary Deprivation of Liberty in Xinjiang
Note: On August 10 & 13, 2018, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) will review China’s implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. China signed and ratified the Convention in 1981. The release below is based on a submission to the Committee from CHRD and a partner NGO, Equal Rights Initiative, highlighting major concerns over extrajudicial detention, including Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in re-education camps and China’s failure to implement Article 5 (a)(b)(d) of the Convention.
(Network of Chinese Human Rights Defenders & Equal Rights Initiative – August 3, 2018) – The number of Xinjiang residents, especially ethnic Uyghurs, who are either detained in re-education camps or forced to attend day/evening “education sessions” for “de-radicalization” and indoctrination purposes in Xinjiang, may have possibly reached as high as a combined total of two to three million by June 2018, according to interviews conducted and data gathered by two NGOs, CHRD and Equal Rights Initiative.
Our findings show that, in the villages of Southern Xinjiang, about 660,000 rural residents of ethnic Uyghur background may have been taken away from their homes and detained in re-education camps, while another up to 1.3 million may have been forced to attend mandatory day or evening re-education sessions in locations in their villages or town centers, amounting to a total of about 2 million South Xinjiang villagers in these two types of “re-education” programs. The total number for Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR or Xinjiang) as a whole, including other ethnic minorities and city residents, is certainly higher.
A prominent Muslim poet has been visited and threatened by police after tweeting about the mass incarceration of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in China’s political “re-education camps.”
Cui Haoxin, a member of the Hui Muslim ethnic group known by his pen-name An Ran, received a visit from the local state security police after he sent and retweeted posts from his Twitter account about the detentions.
“Chinese police raided my home and warned me not to use my social media account, such as Twitter and Facebook,” Cui wrote in a blog post about the Aug. 16 visit. “Five policemen went into my home and talked with me for two hours. The threat is real!”
“Recently a meeting of the U.N. discussed re-education camps that hold several million Muslims in China,” he wrote. The U.N. has estimated the numbers detained at around one million. “Today this discussion happens between Chinese police and me.”
It is now clear, from numerous reliable sources, that shocking human rights atrocities are being perpetrated in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region of China (XUAR).
The Communist Party authorities have established a large number of political re-education centers in Xinjiang, detaining people without any judicial process, stripping them of their personal liberty, imprisoning them, and detaining them for indeterminate ‘sentences.’ Estimates of the numbers detained range from hundreds of thousands to over a million, primarily targeting Uighurs, but also Kazakhs, Hui people, and other minorities who follow Islam. Among those detainees are peasants, workers, university, college, high-school and middle-school students, teachers, poets, writers, artists, scholars, the head of a provincial department, bureau chiefs, village chiefs, and even Uighur police officers. Uighurs overseas, as well as their family members and Uighur students who return to China after studying abroad — and even Uighurs who have simply visited abroad for tourism — have been particular targets of attack.
— read more —
From the Tibet Society:
On the 16th of September, Ai Weiwei was in London and during a Q&A session was asked ‘how the Chinese felt about the oppression of the Tibetan people.’
His carefully worded answer:
“Tibet, and also some related situation like minority situations, [is the] result of this whole system. If the system is not changed, if the political situation is not changed, I don’t think Tibet has a chance for the condition to change.”
“It’s a very sad situation but I think it is lacking of communication, lacking of sincerely understanding of humanity or respect of different culture and language. This not only happens to Tibetan people but also happens to Chinese. It’s just the general condition.”
On June 2, 1996 we commemorated Democracy Day and the seventh anniversary of the TianAnMen Square massacre.
Flag Man and Our Protectors
(Notice the famed EMT vehicle and another park security vehicle in the background)
The park was still calling law enforcement every time we showed up as shown above, even though there was never any property damage, unauthorized entry into the park, and we picked up after ourselves.
We can’t do it there, but we can do it here !
Protesters and view of the rear of the Potala Palace Exhibit
Protesters Lined Up along the Back Wall
(May be a familiar scene elsewhere)
Recently a list of regulations published as a ‘Work memo’ were imposed on Beijing Taxicab drivers. The English translation was published by the China Digital Times.
Among the rules were the following:
III. “Zero Spread” Requirements for Taxicabs During the 18th Party Congress Security Period (Convening on November 8 )
(1) During the 18th Party Congress period, taxicab drivers are to “seal the door” and “seal the windows.” “Seal the door” by activating child safety locks on the doors. “Seal the windows” by removing window cranks.
(2) During the 18th Party Congress period, taxicab drivers are to be on guard for passengers carrying any type of ball. Look for passengers who intend to spread messages by carrying balloons that bear slogans or ping-pong balls bearing reactionary messages.
(3) During the 18th Party Congress period, if driver finds himself on a route through areas of political importance, he must find a detour. Pay attention to technique and manner in order to avoid unnecessary conflict with passengers.
(4) During the 18th Party Congress period, drivers are to regularly inspect the inside and outside of their vehicles in order to ensure lawbreakers have not affixed reactionary materials or messages to the vehicle.
(5) Report any information that could affect public stability in a timely fashion. The public security corps will reward those who notify public security messengers.
The point of these rules are clear, the Chinese Communist Party can not stand any other voices to be heard or for their 18th Party Congress to be sullied in any fashion.
Imagine if these rules were imposed on the cities hosting the Republican or Democratic National Conventions.
OTOH, the city of Tampa, host of the 2012 Republican National Convention, opened areas for demonstrators to speak and even though hundreds of protestors showed up, there was none of the vandalism, violence, mayhem or countless arrests that marred other events where these folks showed up to protest.
The Chinese Communist Party still believes that the Chinese people are unsuited to be able to make decisions for themselves and must be tightly controlled. If that isn’t racist, then I don’t know what racist means.