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Ilham Tohti Documentary


A professor at Minzu University in Beijing and the foremost Uighur public intellectual in the People’s Republic of China, he was sentenced to life in prison in September 2014 for advocating basic economic, cultural, religious and political rights for the Uighur people.


— Interviews with Ilham Tohti

— Commentaries by Sakharov Prize laureate Hu Jia; Professor Elliot Sperling; Jewher Ilham, daughter of Ilham Tohti; former President of PEN American Center Peter Godwin; Director of Uighur Human Rights Project Alim Seytoff, and more.


We wish our viewers to be keenly aware that we did not make this documentary; we built one from others’ works. We are deeply grateful for what the following organizations have done before us and for their giving us the permission to use their materials, or this presentation of Ilham Tohti would not have been possible:

Pen American Center (watch)

Human Rights Fifth Estate TV – NYC created by Melissa Cornick (watch)

Tsering Woeser (watch)

Voice of America Chinese (interviews with Ilham Tohti: here, here and here; interview with Hu Jia)

Radio Free Asia (Ilham Tohti’s Uighur recording on July 24, 2013; English translation)

Pen International (here and here)


— The Editors




Marie Holzman: ‘The European Parliament Should Award the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to Ilham Tohti’, October 16, 2015.

Professor Ilham Tohti Calls for Family to Appeal His Case, October 16, 2015.

Ilham Tohti’s Statement to RFA Uighur Service on July 24, 2013.

My Ideals and the Career Path I Have Chosen, April 2014.

Present-Day Ethnic Problems in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region: Overview and Recommendations, May 2015.