My Ideals and the Career Path I Have Chosen

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China Change

By Ilham Tohti, published: April 6, 2014

 

Ilham Tohti. Photo from Tibetan writer Woeser's Twitter account @degewa. Ilham Tohti. Photo from Tibetan writer Woeser’s Twitter account @degewa.

On January 15, 2014, Chinese authorities arrested Ilham Tohti, a Uighur economics professor at the prestigious Minzu University in Beijing. Authorities formally charged him with separatism on February 25, and have so far denied him access to his attorney. For years, Tohti has discussed and commented on not only Chinese policies in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, where the vast majority of this Turkic Muslim population lives, but also the state of Han-Uighur relations. He founded the Chinese-language website 维吾尔在线 (Uighur Online), which is meant to facilitate communication and understanding between the two peoples.  The following autobiographic essay, written in January, 2011, provides a much-needed portrait of the man. In dealing with Ilham’s case, we demand that the Chinese government acts transparently and in accordance with its own Criminal Procedure Law as well…

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