govt reports on Illham Tohti’s trial

From: martin winter <>

Government media in China has covered the Illham Tohti trial rather extensively, compared with legal action against dissidents in the past and also recently in less prominent cases.

1) NY Times translation of an online news media’s report from Ilham

Tohti’s trial:

«The prosecution presented video material from the school showing the accused Ilham Tohti openly espousing separatist ideas in the lecture hall, for example: ‘Is Xinjiang for you Han? No, above all it belongs to us Uighurs, above all it belongs to us Central Asian ethnic groups.’ ‘I’m not Chinese, because I’m Uighur.’»

“我 就不是中国人,因为我是维吾尔人。我们的骄傲是伟大的吐克斯汗。”

Strange. Shouldn’t it be 斯坦, like in 吉尔吉斯斯坦 – Kyrgyztan?

2) CCTV Xinjiang report on Ilham Tohti’s trial, with quotes from videos of Ilham’s classroom lectures.

Ilham Tohti in class: “From the standpoint of the oppressed, any kind of resistance is justified. These people say we are living in hell on earth. Welcome to hell!” […] “The Bingtuan military rule in Xinjiang is China’s shame. When the man in control asks me, do you still think that the land in Xinjiang belongs to you Uighurs? I say yes it does (said softly).”

Then come a few professors, from different universities and research centers in China. They are saying practically the same. One says a lot more than the others, he is also the first one. He is saying Ilham T. has overstepped the boundaries for freedom of speech. He said what Ilham T. said wasn’t speech any more, but action against another race, which is not allowed anywhere on earth, because it led to Nazi-style racial hatred in the Second World War and so on.

Ilham Tohti quoted again: “Among the non-Han population in Xinjiang, if I remember correctly, 13% want independence, 83% want autonomy for the Xinjiang Autonomous Region. They want a higher degree of autonomy. If they can’t get autonomy [like it is promised in the name of the region], they will want independence. For them it is either autonomy or independence.”

Before this second round of classroom video footage for the prosecution, three government snitches testified from prison. They had been Ilham’s students. They say Ilham T. told them to write tendentious articles, one says he was threatened that he couldn’t graduate if he didn’t comply. They are interviewed in prison, but there is no mention why they were imprisoned, of what they had been convicted.

Ilham Tohti in class: “If you answer violence with violence, if you resist, what should we call you? If you resist, we say you are a hero. Resisters are heroes.”

Ilham Tohti interviewed: ”After that car crashed into the railings at Tiananmen Gate and burned out, the government stated they found Uighur flags, religious propaganda and a petrol can inside the car. If the car exploded and burned out, how could they still finds these things? Why would a flag not burn, if the whole car burned out? Or propaganda papers? Or even a petrol can? So I have my doubts about this kind of evidence.”

Then comes another snitch, talking in Uighur. The subtitles say he said he and others attacked people indiscriminately. Then the TV speaker says the prosecutors said they had evidence that Ilham T. published distorted news in connection with acts of violence, spurring racial hatred. Then the professor who talked about international standards comes on again.

He says it is very clear Ilham T. was working for secession, all his writings, thoughts and actions have pointed in this direction, there is absolutely no doubt.

“No matter if you see it from an objective or from a subjective standpoint, I say the decision of the court to convict Ilham T. of taking action towards secession is correct.”

At the end two people from the audience are interviewed. One woman, who may be Han, says the same as the professor. The trial was fair, the decision is correct. Then comes an Uighur man in a suit, who says Ilham T. is a secessionist, and so he doesn’t represent Uighurs, doesn’t represent Uighur intellectuals.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *