Ilham Tohti is a university Prof who has supported the rights of ethnic Uyghurs. He was sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of separatism. Much of the evidence against him included his teaching materials and interviews with foreign journalists. The sentencing was passed in the midst of a general Chinese crackdown on Muslim practice in the eastern region. There are estimated to be over 10 million Uyghurs living in the Uygur Autonomous Region of Xinjiang. His awards include the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders and the Weimar
Human Rights Award.