Oct 25, 2020 Comments Off on Happy Birthday to you, Ilham !
Happy Birthday to you, Ilham !
On this day he was born
Today his fiftieth golden leaf falls
He is in prison …
Because he fought for our freedom
His sacrifice for us all.
Today is the 51st Birthday of Ilham Tohti, a Uyghur Professor, winner of the Sakharov Prize, and twice Noble Peace Prize nominee. Through his writing, academic research and activities, he has campaigned for the rights of Uyghur people and challenged the Chinese authorities oppressive and apartheid policies which have developed nowadays to “China’s Uyghur Genocide”, The Chinese regime arrested him 6 years ago and jailed him for life.
Ilham, you are the Ilham (the inspiration) of Uyghur people and for everyone in the world who stands for freedom, free speech and dignity!
We will never forget you. In every breath we feel your suffering inside the dark Chinese prison.
We are fighting for your release and we pray for you, you will see the sun shine soon. You were born free, you don’t deserve to be imprisoned! The free world will stand with you always!
As contact with his family in China dwindled and ethnic Uighurs fleeing Xinjiang brought disturbing stories, Aziz Isa Elkun, a poet, academic and activist who lives in London, began speaking out about their plight.
Using Google Earth, he tracked down the site where his father was buried in 2017; the cemetery had been demolished, seemingly part of a pattern of erasing Uighur culture. CNN ran a story about the apparent destruction of more than 100 Uighur graveyards, featuring Mr Elkun and his story.
Days later CGTN, the international arm of the Chinese state broadcaster, interviewed Mr Elkun’s frail mother. She led a crew through a new “eco-friendly” cemetery. “We voluntarily applied to move the old grave here,” she said.