Alleged Uyghur Terrorism: Information for the Press

For immediate release
September 9, 2008,10:30 pm EST
Contact: Uyghur American Association +1 (202) 349 1496

In the past five weeks the media has reported at great length on a series of attacks in East Turkestan (also known as Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region). Details on the attacks have been strictly controlled by Chinese authorities and often the only source for information is Xinhua News Agency, the Chinese government’s official news outlet.

As part of a long-term strategy to justify disproportionate responses to Uyghur unrest, even peaceful, Chinese officials have worked to manufacture a connection between the Uyghur people and global terror networks. Since 9/11, Chinese authorities have used the “war on terror” as a pretext to intensify its repression of Uyghurs, the overwhelming majority of whom have no connection to any terror attacks.

The Uyghur American Association (UAA) and Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) have released a press pack on alleged Uyghur terrorism for members of the press. The press pack has been written to provide a detailed and clear picture on recent events in East Turkestan and the campaign to label the Uyghur people as terrorists.

The pack includes a timeline of recent terror-related incidents in East Turkestan, UAA’s position on terrorism and quotes by Ms. Rebiya Kadeer, Uyghur democracy leader, on the terrorism issue. In addition, background information on the Uyghur people and East Turkestan is provided in conjunction with details on UAA’s mission and a profile of Ms. Kadeer. Contact details are also provided for the press to contact Ms. Kadeer for interviews.

East Turkestan in the post-Olympic period is witnessing a fierce crackdown as regional and central authorities move to commit further violations of Uyghur human rights in the name of security. Recent activity by Chinese security forces, unreported by Chinese media, has included:

  • The mobilization of 200,000 public security officers and armed police in East Turkestan to “prevent terrorist attacks” on China’s National Day, observed on October 1.
  • The arrest of 160 Uyghur children, aged 8 to 14 years old, for participating in “illegal” religious activities. The children were brought to Bajiahu Prison in the regional capital of Urumchi, and their parents were asked for 20,000 yuan for the release of each child.
  • The arrests of more than 1,000 individuals in post-attack security sweeps in Kucha and Kashgar.

The press pack seeks to assist the media by providing resources in addition to official Chinese sources as the situation continues to deteriorate in East Turkestan.

A copy of the press pack can be found at:

http://docs.uyghuramerican.org/Information-on-Alleged-Uyghur-Terrorism-for-the-Press.pdf

 

Share/Save