World Uyghur Congress Devastated at Loss of Professor Elliot Sperling

World Uyghur Congress, 2 February 2017

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All those at the World Uyghur Congress are truly devastated at the recent loss of Professor Elliot Sperling and we offer our deepest condolences to his friends and family.

Professor Sperling was an impressive scholar and one of the foremost experts on Tibet and its relationship with China, writing for decades not merely as a means of historical study, but as a conduit for understanding issues faced by real communities of people.

In conjunction with his academic work, Professor Sperling maintained a strong dedication to supporting human rights in China not only through his writing, but through positive and thoughtful action. His simultaneous ability to grasp the essence of complex issues, recognize their implications, and then develop a cogent response or solution lay at the heart of his intellect.

Professor Sperling became one of the most vocal advocates for Ilham Tohti in recent years, speaking passionately on his case since his arrest. The WUC owes a great deal to his work and his ability to communicate and act on the problems facing Uyghurs today in China. We must now endeavor to fill the gap that now exists in his absence.

Professor Sperling will be remembered by all those at the WUC as a tireless supporter of fundamental rights and the importance of conviction and resolve in the face of opposition.

He will be missed dearly by all those who knew him.