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Canadian Uyghur Activist Goes On Trial

(RFE/RL) August 11, 2006 -- The Chinese Foreign Ministry has announced that it has put on trial a Canadian Muslim activist on terrorism charges.

Huseyincan Celil, a Uyghur activist was recently deported to China from Uzbekistan.

Beijing claims the 37 year-old Celil is involved in a 2000 armed attack on a government delegation in predominantly Muslim Xinjiang region, home to China's Uyghur minority.

A Canadian Embassy spokeswoman in Beijing said her government has received assurances from China that it will not seek the death penalty for Celil.

China refuses to recognize Celil's Canadian citizenship.

The Uyghur activist was arrested in Uzbekistan on March 27 while visiting relatives who live there.

Tashkent extradited him to China in June, alleging that he is a Turkish citizen known as Guler Dilaver.

Kyrgyzstan in turn says it wants Celil for the 2000 murder of an Uyghur community leader.


China In Central Asia

China In Central Asia
The Almaty,Kazakhstan, office of China's National Petroleum Corporation (RFE/RL)

BEIJING ON THE RISE: The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against the United States prompted Washington to topple the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. At the time, many predicted the United States would gain a new foothold in Central Asia: new U.S. military bases appeared in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, U.S. foreign aid increased, and much U.S. attention was lavished on the region. Russia and China looked on warily. But the pendulum may be swinging back in Moscow’s and Beijing’s favor. China, especially, has expended great effort at winning friends in Central Asia and is becoming a force to be reckoned with....(more)


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