Ilham Tohti awarded the 2019 Sakharov Prize

Published: 17:36 October 24, 2019

Uyghur economist and human rights activist Ilham Tohti has been awarded this year’s European Parliament Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

European Parliament President David Sassoli announced the laureate in the Strasbourg chamber at noon on Thursday, following an earlier decision by the Conference of Presidents (President and political group leaders).

“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. By awarding this prize, we strongly urge the Chinese government to release Tohti and we call for the respect of minority rights in China”, President Sassoli said, following the decision.