Archive for December 9th, 2009

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Kadeer: Addressing Xinjiang Issue Serves Stability

Rebiya Kadeer, chairwoman of the World Uyghur Congress (WUC), is currently in Austria.

Die Presse, Vienna, Austria, published an interview with Rebiya Kadeer yesterday. The following are excerpts from the interview (own translation).

Q: Early in July 2009, heavy riots broke out between Han Chinese and Muslim Uyghurs. What is the situation like now, five months later?

A: Many young men are still missing. Their parents can’t ask the authorities what happened to them. International phonecalls to Urumqi are not possible, and the internet is still blocked. The Chinese have assigned 3,000 special security troops who patrol the city.

Q: You once said that in the July riots, 10,000 people vanished and 400 Uyghurs were killed. Officially, “only” 200 people, mostly Han Chinese, were killed.

A: I stick to the numbers. Some sources even mention 5,000 killed Uyghurs! Unfortunately, we can’t check these numbers. But if Beijing speaks the truth, why then is there a gagging order? I demand an international investigation of the events.


Q: Vis-a-vis the West, China seems to be less and less ready to make concessions concerning human rights. Why is that?

A: China’s attitude stems from the West’s silence. In the global economic crisis, Beijing tries to stabilize its own power by oppressing the minorities. At the same time, it would be in the West’s interest to address the issue – also for the sake of stability in the region.

Q: Some Uyghurs – such as the Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP) – demand a radical struggle against Beijing. Can you understand that?

A: Groups like the TIP don’t speak for the majority among the Uyghurs. We, the World Uyghur Congress, are seeking a peaceful solution to the conflict. We demand self-determination, because the “autonomy” of our region Xinjiang is only a word, but not real.

Mrs Kadeer is scheduled to visit the secretariat of Amnesty International France on Thursday.


Update / Related:
Internet Services which are / are not available in Xinjiang, Far West China, December 7, 2009

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