• Sat
  • Sep 20, 2014
  • Updated: 8:09am

Jailed academic Ilham Tohti's daughter slams China's treatment of Uygurs before US Congress

Daughter of activist says his arrest shows that Beijing is intolerant of criticism, however mild

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 April, 2014, 2:19pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 10 April, 2014, 3:15am

The daughter of a prominent Uygur academic has told US lawmakers that his arrest sent a message that China will not tolerate even peaceful expressions of grievances by the minority group.

Ilham Tohti, an economist in Beijing who has been one of the most vocal critics of China's treatment of the mostly Muslim ethnic group, was detained in January and accused of separatism, a charge that could carry the death penalty.

His 19-year-old daughter Jewher Ilham, who studies in the United States, told a hearing in the US Congress that her father was not a separatist and that he opposed violence.

"In fact, he is exactly the sort of person a rational Chinese political structure would seek to engage in order to address the conditions of the Uygur people," she told the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, which looks at human rights.

"By arresting my father and threatening him with charges that carry the severest penalties, it has driven many Uygurs to a point where they can't even imagine that their … grievances can get any sort of hearing under Chinese rule," she said.

Ilham said she had received no news on her father's condition and feared for her family, which she said was under 24-hour surveillance with as many as eight security officers outside their home.

Ilham, who spoke using a prepared statement in English, said she had initially planned to join her father for just one month as he took a one-year position at Indiana University starting in February last year.

But Tohti was stopped at a Beijing airport from going to the US and Ilham went alone. She has been studying English at Indiana University since.

The US and European Union have condemned Tohti's detention, but the Chinese government says it has "irrefutable proof" against him.

The Turkic-speaking Uygurs, who number some 10 million in Xinjiang , frequently charge that their political and religious rights are stifled by the government, allegations that Beijing strongly denies.


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Is it true that the Chinese word that generally is translated as "irrefutable" actually means "very iffy so we bluster?"

I think China should use its criminal prosecution system to help weed out ping pong as a national sport and to promote team sports...any Chinese person seen playing ping pong in public should be send to jail for 2 years without trial...(or any further news about them)...
Remember the Nayirah testimony, which led to the US bombing of Iraq in defense of Kuwait? Maybe we should take these speeches with a pinch of salt?
" The Nayirah testimony was the controversial testimony given before the non-governmental Congressional Human Rights Caucus on October 10, 1990 by a female who provided only her first name, Nayirah. The testimony was widely publicized, and was cited numerous times by United States senators and the American president in their rationale to back Kuwait in the Gulf War. In 1992, it was revealed that Nayirah's last name was al-Ṣabaḥ (Arabic: نيره الصباح‎) and that she was the daughter of Saud bin Nasir Al-Sabah, the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States. Furthermore, it was revealed that her testimony was organized as part of the Citizens for a Free Kuwait public relations campaign which was run by Hill & Knowlton for the Kuwaiti government. Following this, al-Sabah's testimony has come to be regarded as a classic example of modern wartime propaganda....An ABC report found that 'patients, including premature babies, did die, when many of Kuwait's nurses and doctors...fled' but Iraqi troops 'almost certainly had not stolen hospital incubators and left hundreds of Kuwaiti babies to die.' "
Hi! To defend democracy, justice and human rights in China, I just started a petition on the White House petitions site, WethePeople. Will you sign it? http wh.gov/lp6Jzor https petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/urge-chinas-authority-comply-udhr-and-ratify-iccpr-benefit-everyone-world/hXqnNyJwThank you for your support for the common good!


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