China blames deadly Xinjiang attack on separatists

BBC, 1 August 2011

China says Muslim separatists trained in Pakistan were behind an attack which killed six civilians in the western region of Xinjiang on Sunday.

In an online statement, the local government said “armed terrorists” stormed a restaurant, killing two, then fatally stabbed four people outside.

Police responding to the attack shot dead five suspects.

The attack was part of a weekend of violence which left up to 18 people dead.

Kashgar is in west of Xinjiang region, which has a Muslim Uighur population and has seen regular outbreaks of ethnic tension, mainly triggered by the influx of Han Chinese.

In a statement the Pakistani foreign office has said that all “incidents of terrorism are deplorable” and that it is fully confident that the Chinese government will succeed in frustrating the “evil designs of… extremists and separatists, who constitute an evil force”.

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UN Human Rights Committee Raises Concern over the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Its Review of Kazakhstan

Human Rights in China (HRIC), 29 July 2011

In concluding observations and recommendations released today, a United Nations expert body noted with concern that Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member state Kazakhstan “may be willing to rely” on diplomatic assurances provided within the SCO framework “to return foreign nationals to countries where torture and serious human rights violations might occur.” Human Rights in China (HRIC) welcomes these expert conclusions in light of Kazakhstan’s practice of returning Uyghur asylum seekers to fellow SCO member state China – most recently Ershidin Israil – and of returning asylum seekers and refugees to other SCO member states as well, including the return in June of 28 Uzbek refugees to Uzbekistan.

The United Nations Human Rights Committee included this concern in its Concluding Observations on the Initial report of Kazakhstan, regarding the government’s implementation of the human rights obligations enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR or “Covenant”), which Kazakhstan ratified in 2006. The Committee further expressed its concern that “individuals, particularly Uzbek and Chinese nationals, who might have valid claims for asylum or refugee status have no protection under the principle of non-refoulement . . . .” It recommended that Kazakhstan “monitor the treatment of such persons after their return and take appropriate action when [diplomatic] assurances are not fulfilled. Furthermore, [Kazakhstan] should fully comply with the principle of non-refoulement and ensure that all persons in need of international protection receive appropriate and fair treatment at all stages in compliance with the Covenant.”

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HRIC Calls for Full and Transparent Investigation of July 18 Incident in Hotan

Human Rights in China (HRIC), 28 July 2011

HRIC is deeply concerned over the July 18 violence reported in Hotan, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, which resulted in at least 18 reported deaths, and official depictions of events that contradict eyewitness accounts.

Human Rights in China (HRIC) is deeply concerned over the July 18 violence reported in Hotan, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, which resulted in at least 18 reported deaths, and official depictions of events that contradict eyewitness accounts.

Official Chinese media reports have referred to the incident variously as a premeditated act of terrorism, religious extremism, or rioting. Government officials assert that Uyghur men attacked a police station, took hostages, killed four people, and injured four others. Official reports also indicate that police shot 14 “rioters” and rescued six civilian hostages.

An independent and full investigation is essential, however, in light of witness accounts reported by the World Uyghur Congress that contain facts contrary to those asserted by the authorities. These reports suggest that the violence was initiated by police against Uyghurs who had peacefully gathered to protest the disappearance of relatives while in police custody. The World Uyghur Congress also reports that over 70 people were arrested in the wake of the violence, while at least 20 Uyghurs were killed and 12 injured.

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The “Chinese-Tibetan Friendship Society Europe” celebrates His Holiness’ birthday in Brussels.

By Dennis Barbion, Belgium, 9th July 2011

Wednesday 6th July 2011 was the 76th birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. The Chinese-Tibetan Friendship Society Europe (CTFSE), an international association that was founded in June last year, has organised a celebration in Brussels. About 175 people in total participated in the celebration: Tibetans, Chinese dissidents, a Mongolian representative and Belgian Tibet supporters.

Mrs. Mona Zhimin Tang, a Chinese political artist, a former Tian An Men student and human rights activist now living in the West, welcomed everyone and did the presentation that evening. She expressed her appreciation for everyone who participated in the celebration. She told it was an important day and asked the audience to offer a khata to the throne with a picture of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, to express respect for the former Nobel Peace Prize Winner.

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Repression and Surveillance of Uighurs Still a Concern on Second Anniversary of Urumqi Crackdown

Freedom Hause, 5 July 2011
Press Release
Contact: Mary McGuire  202-747-7035

On the second anniversary of the brutal crackdown on peaceful Uighur demonstrators  by Chinese security forces, Freedom House remains deeply concerned about the ongoing repression and human rights abuses in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in China.

On July 5, 2009, Chinese security forces violently suppressed peaceful demonstrators in Urumqi seeking justice for Uighur factory workers who were killed during a brawl with ethnic Han in June of that year.  The police action sparked clashes between Uighurs and Han residents and state-run media reported that 197 people were killed, though state censorship and intimidation of witnesses have made it difficult to verify the number dead. The crackdown that followed the clashes included sweeping “disappearances,” imprisonment, and executions of Uighurs.

“Uighurs and other ethnic and religious minorities have suffered greatly at the hands of the Chinese government for years,” said Sue Gunawardena Vaughn, Freedom House’s senior program manager for international religious freedom. “Freedom House calls on Chinese authorities to take concrete measures to address the root causes of the July 5th protest and ethnic unrest in Xinjiang, starting with the immediate release of those who remain in custody without charge. At a minimum, those who have been charged should be afforded due process, tried in an open and fair court, given access to legal representation of their choice and not subjected to torture and ill treatment.”

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China: Authorities grow bolder in Uighur crackdown

Amnesty International, 4 July 2011

Two years on from riots and mass arrests in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Amnesty International has warned that the Chinese authorities continue to silence those speaking out on abuses during and after the unrest.

Hundreds of people were detained and prosecuted following the riots, with several dozen sentenced to death or executed and hundreds detained, with many of these sentenced to long prison terms.

Managers of well known Uighur websites and journalists have been jailed for involvement in posting messages announcing the protests, or for talking to foreign media.

Uighur asylum seeker Ershidin Israil was recently forcibly returned from Kazakhstan to China amid reported pressure from the Chinese authorities. He had been recently interviewed by Radio Free Asia about the alleged torture and death in custody of a young Uighur man in the aftermath of the protests.

“The government is not only still muzzling people who speak out about July 2009, it is using its influence outside its borders to shut them up,” said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Director for the Asia-Pacific.

“The general trend towards repression that we see all over China is particularly pronounced in Xinjiang, where the Uighur population has become a minority in its own homeland.”

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Nonviolent Radical Party Discusses Uyghurs´ Plight at the 17th Session of the UN Human Rights Council

Press release – for immediate release
17 June 2011
Marco Perduca, Tel:(+39) 06 689791
Nonviolent Radical Party Transnational and Transparty

In 15 June 2011, Jana Brandt, on behalf of the Nonviolent Radical Party (NRP), delivered a statement on item 4 (“Human rights situations that require the attention of the Council”) at the 17th session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), Geneva. In the statement, the NRP drew the Council´s attention to the upcoming 2nd anniversary of the 5 July 2009 events in Urumqi, East Turkestan, China.

Video of the intervention:


On 5 July 2009, Uyghurs in Urumqi staged a peaceful protest which was brutally suppressed by Chinese security forces and subsequently led to ethnic unrest in the city that left hundreds of people dead.

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Amnesty International Urgent Action: Forcibly returned asylum seeker at risk

Amnesty International, 16 June 2011

AI-Index: ASA 17/026/2011

Ershidin Israil, an ethnic Uighur and a Chinese national, was forcibly returned from Kazakhstan to China on 30 May and is now being treated as a “major terror suspect” by the Chinese authorities. He is at risk of torture and ill-treatment in custody and unfair trial.

Ershidin Israil was forcibly extradited back to China from Kazakhstan and now faces charges as a “major terror suspect”. Kazakh authorities reportedly turned Ershidin Israil over to Chinese authorities on 30 May 2011. On 14 June Chinese authorities confirmed he was in their custody, and being treated as a “major terror suspect”.

Ershidin Israil fled China to Kazakhstan in September 2009, days after having given an interview to Radio Free Asia during which he exposed the alleged beating to death in custody of Shohret Tursun, a young Uighur man involved in the July 5, 2009, unrest in Urumqi. He applied to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for asylum shortly after his arrival in Kazakhstan. In March 2010, the UNHCR recognized Ershidin Israil as a refugee and he was accepted for resettlement in Sweden. However, on 3 April 2010 he was taken into custody by the Kazakh authorities and formally arrested in June 2010. Between 23 June 2010 and 18 May 2011, courts in Kazakhstan considered and rejected his application for asylum a total of five times. The UNHCR revoked his refugee status on 3 May 2011.

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