Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) awards joint Havel Prize to Uighur economist Ilham Tohti and Balkans-based Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR).
A jailed Uighur academic and a group from Balkans were jointly awarded a top European human rights prize on Monday.
Uighur economist Ilham Tohti and the Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR) -- a group formed to help postwar reconciliation in the Balkans -- were jointly awarded 2019 Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize, said the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in a Twitter post.
Tohti, a former lecturer at a Beijing university, was arrested in January 2014 and handed a life sentence by the Chinese authorities for allegedly promoting “separatism."
Enver Can of the Ilham Tohti Initiative received the prize on behalf of Tohti.
"Today's prize honours one person, but it also recognises a whole population in giving the entire #Uyghur people a voice," Can was quoted in the tweet of PACE.
China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region is home to around 13 million Uighurs. The Turkic Muslim group, which makes up around 45 percent of Xinjiang’s population, has long accused China’s authorities of cultural, religious and economic discrimination.
Up to one million people, or about seven percent of the Muslim population in Xinjiang, have been incarcerated in an expanding network of “political re-education” camps, UN experts.
Ivan Djuric received the award on behalf of Balkans-based Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR).
YIHR, through building connections between youth from different regions, ethnic groups and countries, aims to promote reconciliation.
"Don't play deaf to the sound of war drums from the Balkans," he warned in his speech quoted by PACE.