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Amnesty slams China for using war on terror to persecute Uighurs - Channel News Asia, Singapore

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  • Zafar Khan
    Amnesty slams China for using war on terror to persecute Uighurs http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/94301/1/.html BEIJING : China is
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 8, 2004
      Amnesty slams China for using war on terror to
      persecute Uighurs

      http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/94301/1/.html

      BEIJING : China is using the global war on terror to
      justify repression of its Uighur community who face
      torture and execution when forcibly returned from
      neighbouring countries, Amnesty International said.

      "China has repackaged its repression of Uighurs as a
      fight against 'terrorism,'" Amnesty said in a new
      report.

      "Since the 11 September 2001 attacks on the USA, the
      Chinese government has been using 'anti-terrorism' as
      a pretext to increase its crackdown on all forms of
      political or religious dissent in the region."

      The rights watchdog said many Uighurs have fled to
      neighbouring countries, but growing numbers "were
      being forcibly returned to China where they face
      torture and execution".

      Over the last three years, tens of thousands of people
      are reported to have been detained on grounds of
      "anti-terrorism" in the Xinjiang Uighur Automonous
      Region in northwest China.

      This is despite a claim by the head of the regional
      government in April that "not one incident of
      explosion or assassination took place in the last few
      years".

      "The Chinese government continues to detain prisoners
      of conscience -- who have never used or advocated
      violence -- showing that China's policies of
      repression in the region stretch far beyond combating
      acts of violence or 'terrorism,'" said Amnesty.

      In December China issued its first publicized list of
      "terrorist" organizations and "terrorists," which
      included four groups of the Turkic-speaking Uighurs
      advocating for an independent state in the natural
      resource-rich region.

      The list also named 11 Uighur Muslims, most of whom
      are living overseas.

      While the region has seen a series of anti-Chinese
      activities, including an uprising in February 1997 in
      Yining town in which insurgents took up arms and
      fought bloody street battles with Chinese police,
      there have been no reported incidents in recent years.

      Amnesty said the government has banned or burned tens
      of thousands of Uighur books and shut down a number of
      mosques and religious schools in Xinjiang, as it
      tightens restrictions on the rights of Uighurs, most
      of whom are Muslims.

      "As well as sweeping restrictions on religious,
      cultural and social rights, suspected 'separatists,
      terrorists or religious extremists' have for years
      faced imprisonment or execution after unfair trials,
      as well as torture and long-term detention without
      charge or trial or access to lawyers or family," the
      report said.

      Many Uighurs have fled to neighbouring countries like
      Kyrgyzstan, Kazakstan, Nepal and Pakistan.

      "But even then they are not safe, as the Chinese
      government pressures such countries to forcibly return
      the asylum-seekers. Back in China, they face serious
      human rights violations, including torture, unfair
      trials, and even execution," said Amnesty.

      It cited one recent case in which a man, Shaheer Ali,
      was executed in China after being forcibly returned
      from Nepal despite being recognised as a refugee by
      the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Nepal.

      In Nepal Shaheer Ali had described eight months in a
      Chinese prison in which he said he was beaten with
      shackles, given electric shocks, and had metal nails
      pushed under his toenails in an attempt to extract a
      confession.
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      China accused of using terror threat to repress
      Uighurs

      http://www.abc.net.au/ra/newstories/RANewsStories_1149001.htm

      The human rights group Amnesty International says
      China is using the global war on terror to justify
      repression of its Uighur community.

      Amnesty says China has repackaged its repression of
      Uighurs as a fight against "terrorism".

      The rights group says many Uighurs have fled to
      neighbouring countries, including Pakistan, Nepal and
      Kazakstan, but growing numbers are "being forcibly
      returned to China where they face torture and
      execution".

      In December China issued a list of "terrorist"
      organisations, which included four Uighur groups
      advocating an independent state.

      Amnesty says the government has banned or burned tens
      of thousands of Uighur books and shut down a number of
      mosques and religious schools, as it tightens
      restrictions on the rights of Uighurs, most of whom
      are Muslim.

      07/07/2004 22:52:33 | ABC Radio Australia News

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      To know more about Muslims in China:
      http://www.geocities.com/WestHollywood/Park/6443/China/






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