Police kill 4 after blasts, attacks in China’s west

Reuters, 31 July 2011

Police shot dead four “rioters” in China’s far west on Sunday after at least three people, including a policeman, were killed in the latest in a series attacks in the region this month, the state-run news agency Xinhua reported.

Four suspects were caught and four others were being sought in the latest violence in Kashgar, in a region long beset by anti-Chinese sentiment from the native Uighur population.

Local sources had earlier said three people were killed on Sunday in an explosion, but witnesses reported that the three were hacked to death by the attackers, Xinhua said. Ten people including pedestrians and police were injured, it said.

The violence came about 16 hours after two blasts were reported in Kashgar and eight people killed in a knife attack in the ancient Silk Road city, in the restive Xinjiang region near Tajikistan.

A group of Uighur exiles from the region said martial law had been imposed in Kashgar and that at least 100 people had been arrested.

Continue Reading →

China knife attack and explosions leave several dead

The Guardian, 31 July 2011
By Tania Branigan

Police in China‘s troubled north-western region of Xinjiang have shot dead four suspects after 11 people died in one or more knife attacks and a possible explosion, according to state media.

Officers have detained another four and are hunting four others following the latest violence, in the Silk Road city of Kashgar.

Blasts were heard shortly before two men knocked down pedestrians with a hijacked truck and stabbed them in an assault late on Saturday, said official news agency Xinhua. It left eight dead – including one of the assailants – and 28 injured.

Three died in a separate incident on Sunday afternoon and 10 were injured, Xinhua reported, with police among the casualties. It said local sources initially blamed a blast, but witnesses said the victims were “hacked to death by rioters”.

The deaths come less than two weeks after 18 people died in what Chinese authorities described as an attack on a police station in the region.

Continue Reading →

Deadly Attacks in Kashgar

RFA, 31 July 2011

Reported by Shohret Hoshur and Qiao Long

At least 14 people were killed and 40 others injured in fresh violence in the ethnically torn Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region over the weekend, according to state media and other reports.

A dissident group said that about 100 Uyghurs have been rounded up following the unrest in the ancient Silk Road city of Kashgar, which is under a security lockdown.

State media said knife-wielding attackers killed at least nine people in two separate attacks near the city’s food market and shopping center.

Chinese security forces shot dead four of the attackers and detained four others while another was slain by victims, state run Xinhua news agency said.

The attacks came two weeks after 20 people were killed in a raid on a police station in Hotan city near Kashgar in the bloodiest violence in a year in Xinjiang.

Continue Reading →

‘Eruption of violence’ in China’s Xinjiang

AlJazeera, 31 July 2011

A wave of violence has swept through China’s ethnically-torn Xinjiang region, with knife-wielding attackers killing 10 people and police shooting dead four people suspected of involvement in the disorder.

The unrest occurred in the ancient Silk Road city of Kashgar in two separate attacks, and local residents said Sunday the city centre was under lockdown, with security forces patrolling the streets.

Xinjiang has seen several outbreaks of ethnic violence in recent years as the mainly Muslim Uighur minority has become increasingly angered by what it regards as oppression by the government and unwanted immigration of ethnic Han Chinese.

In the first attack on Saturday evening, seven people were killed and 28 others hurt at a night market by two attackers with knives, one of whom was later killed in violence, the authorities said.

Continue Reading →

Deadly attacks rock turbulent Xinjiang region

AFP, 31 July 2011

Knife-wielding attackers killed 13 people in China’s Xinjiang region and another five were shot dead by police as a wave of violence swept the ethnically-torn area, state media and officials said Sunday.

The unrest occurred in the ancient Silk Road city of Kashgar in two separate attacks, and local residents said Sunday the city centre was under lockdown, with security forces patrolling the streets.

Xinjiang has seen several outbreaks of ethnic violence in recent years as the mainly Muslim Uighur minority bridles under what it regards as oppression by the government and the unwanted immigration of ethnic Han Chinese.

Earlier this month, more than 20 people were killed in a clash with police in the remote city of Hotan.

Continue Reading →

Xinjiang Let them shoot hoops

The Economist, 30 July 2011 (from the print edition)

China’s turbulent west is unlikely to be calmed by plans for economic development

THE situation in Xinjiang, said a Chinese foreign-ministry official in early July, is “good and stable”. Less than two weeks later, on July 18th, the restive region in China’s far west was again rocked by violence. Officials say police opened fire on separatist rioters in the oasis town of Khotan, killing 14. Two security officers and two people described as civilian hostages were also killed in the clash, the bloodiest in Xinjiang in two years. Recent government efforts to buy calm with dollops of aid do not appear to be working.

Exactly what happened in Khotan is uncertain. An exile group campaigning for Xinjiang’s independence from China said the police fired on protesters who had been peacefully airing grievances about police repression of Uighurs, a Muslim ethnic group of Turkic origin who until recently dominated Xinjiang but now form less than half the population. Officials say the police came under attack by “terrorists” armed with Molotov cocktails, bombs and knives. The assailants, says one official account, stormed a police station and unfurled a banner “promoting separatism”. Another account says they had black flags on which were written: “Allah is the only God. In the name of Allah.”

Continue Reading →

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.”

Continue Reading →

Online poll for Uyghur communities

Freedom House, 29 July 2011

This survey is being carried out by Freedom House as a way of reaching as many Uyghurs as possible in order to develop and improve an Internet security guidebook that will help Uyghurs use the Internet more safely in order to communicate, organize, share data and information while protecting their own personal security and the security of their Uyghur contacts and friends in East Turkestan and throughout the world.

We would greatly appreciate it if you would please direct your fellow Uyghur colleagues, friends and family – living outside China– to this survey so that they too can complete this survey and aid this project. The survey is anonymous and secure. We do not collect any information that reveals your individual location or name. The answers to the survey cannot be traced to you.

Please try to complete as much of the survey as you can and are comfortable with. We appreciate and value your input, and would like to thank you for taking the time to complete this survey.

Below are links to the Uyghur, English and Chinese versions of the poll:

Uyghur language version:

https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/601781/Uyghur-Jamaeti-uchun-Torda-Ray-Sinash

English language version:

https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/585350/Online-poll-for-Uyghur-communities

Chinese language version:

https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/596748/a91901a24a00

Continue Reading →