10/21/2009, 00.00
CHINA
Send to a friend

Xinjiang, thousands of Uyghurs have disappeared into thin air: "Maybe dead”

The charge was made today by Human Rights Watch. During the protests that broke out in Xinjiang, "the police used torture and intimidation." The dissident Rebiya Kadeer adds: "Of the twelve condemned to death, nine have already been killed."

Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Of the twelve Uyghurs condemned to death in recent days "nine have already been killed. According to the information in our possession more than ten thousand people of Uyghur nationality were arrested and locked up in jail between July 5 and the first of October. Many are gone, and we think that they have been killed". The is the charge made this morning by Rebiya Kadeer, the leader of the ethic group from the northern province of Xinjiang, during a visit to Japan.

According to the dissident, the World Congress of Uyghurs - the organization she heads - "wants to talk to the Chinese government. Beijing must agree to our autonomy, because their mode of action is destroying our nation, our education, our religion and our freedom of expression”. This refers to the massive immigration of Chinese Han (the majority in China) to the province of Xinjiang. According to the locals – Muslims of Turkish extraction - the arrival of these "guests" aims to destroy the local identity.

Protected by the central government, the Han are in fact in a dominant position in almost all fields: economic, academic and managerial. Uyghurs - who identify their country with East Turkistan - have repeatedly called for a kind of autonomy (at least cultural) from China. It was precisely this  request that formed the basis of the bloody protests that began on 5 July, which according to official sources in Beijing, claimed the lives of 192 people, mostly Han.

But according to a report released today by Human Rights Watch (HRW), and confirmed by the Kadeer’s statements, "thousands of protesters disappeared without trace soon after the protests". The non-governmental organization based in New York, says it has "first hand evidence of that concern more than 40 individual cases of killings disguised as disappearances. But these are only the tip of the iceberg ". The data is conflicting, but credible sources speak of at least a thousand cases of killings.

The HRW report also speaks of "how the Chinese police tried to stop the protests last July. The roads were armoured by officers in riot gear, who took part in the violence, even detaining suspects for interrogation using torture. In some cases, the police set fire to homes and offices, taking away people without charges or explanation. "

Send to a friend
Printable version
CLOSE X
See also
White House to stop Beijing's "imperialist" policy in the South China Sea
24/01/2017 15:55
Uyghur journalist gets 15 years in prison for criticising police and military
24/07/2010
Xinjiang, two suspects for Aksu bomb
20/08/2010
Six more sentenced to death over clashes in Xinjiang
15/10/2009
"We are optimistic," says Paul Bhatti as Rimsha Masih's bail hearing postponed to Friday
03/09/2012