Ilham Tohti
Ilham Tohti

Ilham Tohti is the most renowned Uyghur public intellectual in the People’s Republic of China. For over two decades he has worked tirelessly to foster dialogue and understanding between Uyghurs and Chinese. Frequently harassed and arrested, in 2014 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 (East Turkestan).

Source of Influence: Social Issues

Status: Featured in current year