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Exiled Leader Says China's Uyghurs 'Will Liberate Themselves Or Die'

Rebiya Kadeer rejects Chinese accusations that recent violence was the fault of extremists trained abroad.
Rebiya Kadeer rejects Chinese accusations that recent violence was the fault of extremists trained abroad.
Kashghar and Hotan, two historic centers of Uyghur and Islamic culture in the south of China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, were recently the scene of renewed violence between ethnic Uyghurs and Han Chinese.

About 20 Uyghurs were killed in separate incidents, and Uyghur activists say their anger is boiling over in response to what they call Chinese repression, which they say is aimed at turning them into a minority in their own homeland.

Beijing has accused the Uyghurs of separatism and terrorism and has ordered a massive security clampdown to prevent violence.

Speaking to RFE/RL's Muhammad Tahir in Washington, Rebiya Kadeer, the exiled leader of the World Uyghur Congress, says that the recent incidents were all related.

Kadeer said that following ethnic unrest between Han Chinese and Uyghurs in the regional capital, Urumqi, in July 2009, "around 10,000 [Uyghurs] were arrested. Around 4,000 to 5,000 have disappeared. [Another] 4,000-5,000 people were killed."

Western media have put the death toll from the violence at around 200. China says about 1,000 Uyghurs were arrested, of these 35 were sentenced to death.

"I think the people involved in recent incidents are relatives of those who were killed. And even though this was a huge, tragic event, no one has raised adequate concern," Kadeer added.

She said that the Chinese authorities continue to arrest Uyghurs, and that the number "has now increased from 10,000 to around 70,000 people. The numbers of those who have disappeared and are regularly disappearing have significantly increased."

Kadeer also claimed that plainclothes security officers enter Uyghurs' homes in Hotan and "take the male members of the family and torture them and question them about what they know about the July 5 [2009] events and whether they played a role."

She said that the Uyghurs had expectations that after the Urumqi violence Beijing "would change its policies and treat them better. Therefore, we can say that the [recent violence] is the continuation of the July 5 clashes. I think China will keep killing Uyghurs but [the Uyghurs] won't stop. They won't stop until China changes its policies."

Kadeer also rejected Chinese accusations that the Uyghurs killed last week were trained in Pakistan as "a 100 percent lie," and that they were simply locals who had "suffered" under Chinese rule and simply "couldn't take it anymore."
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Comments
     
by: Alexander from: LA
August 05, 2011 19:08
Another problem for China that the West will have to pursue. More freedom for Muslims and none for Christians that wanna separate.
In Response

by: TheWest from: The West
August 06, 2011 15:07
The West should keep our focus to our own nations and not try to "fix" others. Why do we care what she says? She's in the US to escape her prison sentence anyways.
In Response

by: Jacob from: Canada
August 07, 2011 20:16
Just deport this troublemaker.
In Response

by: Bob from: Australia
August 22, 2011 20:28
There is no any problem in Uyghur land.It is normal to fight for freedom.
No one can take away the human rights given by Allah.
China have been making a problem for itself.
Uyghur is the most unhappy nation in the world.

by: Howard from: China
August 06, 2011 11:30
Anyone with a normal brain will not believe what this old witch is bluffing... 4000-5000 people were killed? Her poor lying tactic makes me laugh my ass off.
In Response

by: Bob from: US
August 07, 2011 11:14
Routine Chinese nonsense!

by: Tenjen from: USA
August 07, 2011 18:08
There is no need of proof, to say China is repressive and abusive country, which doesn’t care about international norms of any type, it violates basic rights its entire citizens and more so of those who resist against its repression and aggression.

Together with Uyghurs, Tibetans are its examples and therefore today together with Uyghurs millions of Tibetan population are forced to live in exile, including in U.S.

I am afraid with it’s repressive policies, China is not only creating another flash point and headeche for itself but also for its nighboures and international community. Though international community is silent, because Chinese money is more important than rights of Uyghurs or Tibetans.

As of China, it’s a big country, and have intelligent people, who knows how to improve economy, I wonder why they don’t understand such a simple reality, that if you force people out of their homeland, deprive them from thier land, provoke them to fight, it’s obvious that they will resist, you can kill them, but cannot wipe them out, they will fight back whatever tools and means available, and it will create only a problem.

I hope China will use an oppurtunity, when influential people like Ms Kadeer and Dalai Lama is alive, when they are gone, I think there won't be a single individual to speak to, and that's the time, China should be afraid of.

by: Xia Yun from: CHINA
August 10, 2011 11:58
It is not just Ethinic Uyghur,but also many other communities as well.Tibetan monks being killed by Chinese Security forces,Roman Catholics are told to not accept the "Pope" as their spirtual leader,refusal means sudden disappearance,torture and death.The recently Nobel Prize Laurette for Peace,Human Right's Lawyer is still being incancerrated in their detention centers.Peasants who asked for higher wages are beaten and barred from employment.There is serious violation in Human Rights in China,From the days of Tianman Square Incident,where Students Demonstrators were crused using military tank's,China Might have grown into economic power,But it is still very much tyrant nation.Consumers in USA,UK and other parts of can certainly do their part to catalyst democratic change in CHINA,They can start by boycotting products made in china,As More than Half of China's GDP is based on Foriegn EXports,This would certainly would help in changing policies in china.

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