08/05/2011, 00.00
CHINA

Beijing "warns" the Uyghurs it's ready to kill anyone who protests

The Chinese authorities the northern province of Xinjiang post pictures of the last two Uyghurs killed in cold blood a few days ago on its website and warns: "They could be taken alive." Analysts explained: "A clear message: those who rebel will be shot."
Urumqi (AsiaNews) - Chinese authorities "are sending a clear message to the Uyghur minority in Xinjiang: those who rebel against the domination of Beijing will be unceremoniously killed”, say a number of analysts the day after the disturbing announcement on the website of the government of the autonomous province of Xinjiang, where the authorities have posted a photograph of two Uyghurs (pictured) murdered in cold blood after a being pursued by police and who “could have been taken alive."

On August 1, Chinese police gunned down the two Uyghurs, suspected of being involved in the July 31 attack that caused the death of six people in a bar in Kashgar, in cold blood. The two - Memtieli Tiliwaldi (29) and Turson Hasan (34) - were killed in a cornfield and left there. Kashgar's government had put a bounty of 100 thousand yuan (about 10 thousand euros) for their capture.

Before this latest bloody episode there were other violent events in the city of Hotan and in the provincial capital, Urumqi. Since 1949, the ethnic Uyghur – Turkic speaking Muslims- have been under the heel of the Chinese government which has imposed a series of extreme religious and cultural restrictions on them. Several groups claim independence and call for the restoration of East Turkestan, but the majority of Uyghurs are simply seeking greater autonomy.

In 2009, the region was the scene of violent clashes between Uyghurs and Han Chinese immigrants. Clashes in the capital Urumqi at the time claimed the lives of more than 200 people. Today, two years later, tensions are soaring once again. According to the Chinese authorities, the Uyghurs carried out a "coordinated terrorist attack" against a police station and officers were forced to respond with force. Instead, for the World Uyghur Congress, the police have "beaten to death" 14 people who were demonstrating peacefully, and then shot 6 other people.

Ilyar Shemseddin, a Uyghur analyst with who live in the U.S., explains: "China, do not view Uyghurs as Chinese citizens and, instead, treat them like “foreign forces to be destroyed. If China really accepted these Uyghurs as Chinese citizens, they would not be killed like dogs in the streets, partly because even the most violent demonstrators were armed at most with knives, while the police have guns and are not afraid to use them. "

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