'It is not a crime to express one's views, nor to carry out research,' Tohti tells the court.
World Uyghur Congress leader Rebiya Kadeer says she fears they will face harsh punishment on their return home.
Ilham Tohti denies separatism charges, but is highly unlikely to receive a fair trial, activists say.
Other family members experience harassment by police in Xinjiang.
Ilham Tohti's lawyers say he should be returned to his hometown, Beijing, to stand trial there.
The duo has evaded Chinese authorities for two months.
Chinese authorities punish him following a 'confrontation' in detention, his lawyer says.
Authorities in Xinjiang offer cash rewards for mixed marriages.
Beijing posts dozens of teachers to regional schools to accelerate Chinese-language proficiency.
Lawyers for Ilham Tohti say they have yet to gain access to all the evidence before a trial begins.
The trio are ordered jailed up to three years on suspected trumped-up charges of ‘illegal fundraising.’
The executions are linked to a jeep attack on Tiananmen Square and other incidents.
Authorities claim the men were resisting arrest.
Ilham Tohti's wife says it is still unclear whether his trial will be held in secret or not.
He is hacked to death by two suspects who have been on a murder spree, local officials say.
The man is accused of 'spreading rumors' about the violence, which Uyghur exiles say has been covered up.
The two bloody incidents occurred last month but have not been reported by the Chinese media.
An overseas group calls the policy ‘racist’ against Uyghurs.
World Uyghur Congress leader Rebiya Kadeer cites ‘evidence from the ground’ for the much higher death toll.
Her law firm won't issue the documents she needs after coming under political pressure.
Jume Tahir, who is also vice-president of the China Islamic Association, was stabbed to death outside the ancient mosque.
The indictment comes amid unending violence in China's restive western Xinjiang region.
Officials say they were targeted after he led a raid on a mosque prayer session.
At least two sources say the death toll may have exceeded 50 but the information cannot be officially verified.
A State Department report hits out at religious controls in China.
The Uyghurs are ordered imprisoned between six months and seven years after a hushed-up trial.
Residents say discriminatory policies provoked the incident.
Police kill one Uyghur suspect and detain three others in the latest violence in the restive region.
The officer had recently been tasked to run an anti-terror campaign in the region.
College administrators distribute bottles of water and offer free lunches to students during Ramadan, and those who refuse are blacklisted.