Our local Amnesty International group's prisoner of conscience, Ilham Tohti, has been awarded the European Parliament's top human rights prize, the Sakharov Prize.
Unfortunately, Ilham Tohti remains in prison in China and has been in prison for more than five years now, under a sentence of life in prison. His crime? The exercise of his right to freedom of speech. The Chinese authorities convicted him of "separatism," a crime he denied.
Ilham Tohti, who is from the Uighur minority, has been a fierce critic of China's treatment of the Uighur people. More than a million Uighurs and other ethnic minorities are reported to have been held in camps in China's restive Xinjiang region.
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A ceremony awarding him the Sakharov Prize in his absence will be held in Strasbourg in December.
Our Amnesty International group continues to write letters to the Chinese authorities each month seeking the release of Ilham Tohti.
If you wish to join us in this effort, please contact me at email@example.com and I can send you the monthly letter.
Tom Pyrek, La Crosse