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  • » 08/03/2012, 00.00

    CHINA

    Rebiya Kadeer slams Beijing's repression during the sacred month of Ramadan



    Uyghur leader slams recent convictions of 20 Uyghurs on terrorism charges as well as the central government's restrictions on Uyghurs in Xinjiang during the sacred month of Ramadan.

    Beijing (AsiaNews) - Arrests and sentences against the Uygur people are part of a Chinese plan to strike at ethnic Uyghurs during Ramadan because they think they are weak, but that is not the case. The international community must force Beijing to stop its repressive policies, said Rebiya Kadeer, exiled Xinjiang Uygur leader about the recent convictions of 20 Uyghurs.

    Three courts in Kashgar, Akesu and Xinjiang capital Urumqi handed down the sentences (of up to15 years) after finding the 20 accused guilty of various crimes, some related to "organising terrorist attacks" in the region.

    According to the Uygur World Congress, the accusations are a baseless fabrication. Moreover, the accused were not given an opportunity to defend themselves.

    A campaign of relentless repression has been underway in Xinjiang, in north-western China, against ethnic Uyghurs. Chinese authorities have imposed a series of restrictions on local Muslims, including on the right to fast during Ramadan and take part in religious activities, Kadeer noted.

    Government websites have urged local Communist Party leaders to impose further restrictions on religious activity during the sacred month, not only in relation to fasting but also access to mosques.

    Some 9 million Turkic-speaking Uyghur Muslims live in Xinjiang. For years, they have been fighting to obtain autonomy from the Chinese state and stop Chinese repression.

    As part of its campaign, the central government has urged local officials to give village chiefs gifts of food to ensure they do not fast during Ramadan.

    A spokesperson for German-based Uygur World Congress warned that restrictions will incite "the Uighur people to resist [Chinese rule] even further," as China is using its administration to force Uyghurs to break their fast and eat.

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    See also

    12/07/2014 CHINA
    Xinjiang: Muslim students forced to eat during Ramadan
    Teachers note who does not eat or drink, threatening students with expulsion from university or no diplomas. Many students fast in secret. People using the internet to spread "religious extremist violent terror video" get sentences ranging from 15 years to life. Uygur spokesperson says Beijing is afraid of losing its information monopoly.

    19/06/2015 CHINA
    Xinjiang: government bans fasting and "other religious activities" during Ramadan
    The Muslim holy month, which began yesterday, requires fasting from dawn to dusk. Beijing tightens its grip over the province, home to nearly nine million Muslim Uighurs. Civil servants, students and teachers must follow the guidelines. Uighur leader slams ban as “a provocation” that “will only lead to instability and conflict.”

    26/05/2014 CHINA
    Xinjiang: more than 200 Uighurs arrested in connection with the Urumqi attack
    The government announces the results of the raid launched after Thursday's attack at the Urumqi Railway Station. Some 23 extremist groups have been broken up and more than 200 explosive devices seized. Islamist ideology is spreading to the province through the internet.

    04/12/2009 CHINA
    Five more Uyghurs sentenced to death in Xinjiang
    For Rebiya Kadeer, they “will face the same fate of the nine men executed in November if the world remains silent”. In the aftermath of July unrest, China continues its crackdown on the province’s indigenous population.

    15/09/2011 CHINA
    Four Uyghurs sentenced to death in Xinjiang
    Two others get 19 year in prison. All of them are accused of terrorism, murder and arson. However, Uyghurs say that the police crackdown transformed their peaceful demonstrations into a confrontation. The four sentenced to death were tortured and their lawyers allowed to see them only an hour before their trial.



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