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China's Uighur Crackdown 'The Holocaust Did Not Take Place in One Day'

The Chinese government is currently interning hundreds of thousands of the country's Uighur Muslim minority. In an interview, Jewher Ilham, the daughter of human rights activist Ilham Tohti, who has been sentenced to life in prison, calls on the European Union to take action against Beijing.

Jewher Ilham, daughter of Uighur economic professor Ilham Tohti Uhr, Jan.8.– Jewher Ilham, 25, is the daughter of Chinese economics professor Ilham Tohti, who was sentenced to life imprisonment for his advocacy of the rights of China's Uighur minority.

She went to the United States on her own in 2013 after her father's arrest at an airport. He had taught at Beijing's Minzu University until early 2014 and was considered to be the last moderate activist working on behalf of Muslim Uighurs in China.

Since his arrest, Ilham has received several prizes on her father's behalf, most recently the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize in December. The Sakharov Prize has been awarded by the European Parliament since 1988 to people or organizations working to promote human rights and fundamental freedoms. The prize is named after the late Russian dissident and physicist Andrei Sakharov and is endowed with 50,000 euros. Xinjiang, homeland of the Uighurs

DER SPIEGEL: Ms. Ilham, the Chinese government has set up a repressive police and surveillance state in the Xinjiang region, where hundreds of thousands of Uighurs have been interned. In December, the European Parliament awarded your father the Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought. Do you feel the European Union is doing enough on behalf of the fate of the Uighur people?

Ilham: I think this is a start. But there is a lot of room for improvement. I am looking forward to seeing more action.

DER SPIEGEL: What do you expect the EU to do?

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