Germany charges alleged Chinese agent for spying on Uighur exiles

Originally published by By The Associated Press,31 March 2011

BERLIN — Prosecutors have charged a Chinese national with spying on ethnic Uighur exiles in Germany on behalf of the government in Beijing.

Federal prosecutors on Thursday accused the 45-year-old, himself a Uighur and identified only as R. in line with German privacy laws, of passing information to Chinese security services from mid-2005 to November 2009.

Germany is a significant base for activists pushing for greater Uighur rights in China’s far-western Xinjiang region. Many Uighurs (pronounced WEE-gurs), historically Xinjiang’s majority ethnic group, resent heavy-handed Chinese rule.

Prosecutors say the charged man had been a member the Uighur community in Munich since 2002, and informed China about planned demonstrations and other activities.