Source of Influence: Social Issues
Status: Featured in current year
Ilham Tohti is a university professor who has supported the rights of ethnic Uighurs. He has recently been sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of separatism. Much of the evidence against him included his teaching materials, and interviews with foreign journalists. This sentencing comes in the midst of a general Chinese crackdown on Muslim practice in their eastern region. There are estimated to be over 10 million Uighurs living in northwestern China in the Uygur Autonomous Region of Xinjiang.