llham Tohti Denied Family Visits and Support

Updated: May 3, 2019


The Chinese authorities have denied the relatives of jailed Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti permission to visit him or to send him clothing and money in prison.


Tohti, the former professor of the Central University for Nationalities in Beijing, was convicted last September on charges of separatism, charges he has repeatedly denied. Tohti claims that his case is politically motivated.


Since his arrest, he has been deprived of political rights, and all his assets have been confiscated.


For more information, please see the following article, which was published in Radio Free Asia:


Authorities in northwestern China’s troubled Xinjiang region have denied the relatives of jailed Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti permission to visit him or provide him with clothing and money while he serves his life sentence for “separatism,” according to his wife.


The 45-year-old former professor at the Central University for Nationalities in Beijing was sentenced to life in prison, along with deprivation of political rights and confiscation of all his assets, following his conviction on a charge of “separatism” by the Urumqi Intermediate People's Court in Xinjiang on September 23 of last year. Tohti's Beijing-based wife, Guzelnur, who has been left with the care of the couple's young sons, told RFA’s Mandarin Service that the scholar’s older brother had recently brought him clothing and money at the Urumqi No. 1 Prison where he is serving time in Urumqi, but was told to return home.


"When his elder brother went to the prison [with his family], they didn’t allow them to see him,” she said. “The prison authorities said they would inform us around the end of June or near July when we could visit my husband, but now it is not even permitted to give him clothes. They said there are special clothes in prison and the prisoners don’t wear outside clothing.”