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Kazakh Officials Ban Uyghur Photo Exhibit On China Clashes

Uyghurs and ethnic Han Chinese clashed during the major riots in July.
Uyghurs and ethnic Han Chinese clashed during the major riots in July.
ALMATY -- Uyghur activists in Kazakhstan were stopped from holding a press conference and photo exhibition on the ethnic clashes in China's Xinjiang Province, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Abdurashid Turdiev and Yermek Narymbaev, the cochairmen of the Kazakh-Uyghur Friendship Society, planned the events for August 21 but were detained by police. They spent 90 minutes in custody before being released.

Narymbaev said they wanted to show journalists and other Almaty citizens 380 pictures taken during the clashes between ethnic Uyghurs and Han Chinese in Urumqi -- the capital of the Xinjiang-Uyghur Autonomous Region -- that began on July 5.

The leader of the Uyghur Society in Kazkahstan and World Uyghur Congress Deputy Chairman Kaharman Kozhamberdiev told RFE/RL that he is shocked that officials did not allow the photo exhibition to take place. He said the pictures could give Kazakhs a true picture of what happened in Urumqi.

Official data provided by the Chinese media says about 200 people died and over 1,600 were injured in the clashes. Uyghur activists say the toll is much higher and that hundreds of Uyghurs have been arrested and imprisoned since the events.