Indiana University

Statement from Indiana University on the arrest and conviction of Uighur scholar Ilham Tohti

  • Sept. 24, 2014


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University joins the United States government, as well as those of several European Union countries, and human rights organizations worldwide in expressing its deep concern over the conviction and life sentence handed down to prominent Uighur scholar Ilham Tohti by the Chinese government this week. Likewise, the university echoes those countries and organizations in urging the Chinese government to reconsider Tohti's conviction.

Tohti, who was arrested in January, is a globally respected scholar who has worked tirelessly and peacefully to reduce tensions among ethnic groups within China, specifically Uighers and Han Chinese. Tohti had been detained in February 2013 on his way to Indiana University's Bloomington campus, where he had been invited as a visiting scholar in conjunction with a program by the Institute of International Education. IU strongly supports work that enables international exchanges among scholars, which promote goodwill and mutual understanding among nations.

Additionally, the university continues to be concerned that some IU faculty members are having difficulties traveling to China for the purposes of research exchange with academic colleagues there. IU has a long history of engagement with a number of outstanding universities in China, and the ability of scholars to travel freely between the two countries is mutually beneficial.

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Media Contacts

Mark Land

Associate vice president, IU Communications