Ilham Tohti, an Uyghur economist fighting for the rights of China’s Uyghur minority, is the winner of the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 2019.
The winner was chosen by Parliament’s political leaders on 24 October 2019.
“I am very pleased to announce that the European Parliament has chosen Ilham Tohti as the winner of the 2019 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. Tohti has dedicated his life to advocating for the rights of the Uyghur minority in China. Despite being a voice of moderation and reconciliation, he was sentenced to life in prison following a show trial in 2014” said parliament president David Sassoli, while announcing the winner.
“By awarding this prize, we strongly urge the Chinese government to release Tohti and we call for the respect of minority rights in China.”