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Minority Rights in China
Ilham Tohti is a professor at the Central University for Nationalities in Beijing and has been consistently outspoken on Uyghur rights in China. He has been detained numerous times previously as a result of his advocacy.
In 2006 Ilham Tohti set up the moderate Uyghur Online website to discuss social issues involving Uyghur-Han relations, in articles published both in Chinese and Uyghur. Chinese authorities alleged this website played a role in instigating the violent unrest in Xinjiang province in 2009 which left up to 200 people dead. Following this the site was shut down and Ilham Tohti was questioned repeatedly by police who accused him of separatism. He currently runs the Uyghur Biz website which is hosted overseas and is blocked in China.
Front Line Defenders has released urgent appeals and news items about Ilham Tohti
16 January 2014 - Detention of Uyghur academic and human rights defender Mr Ilham Tohti