Nov 06, 2009

East Turkestan: China Launches "Strike Hard" Campaign in Xinjiang

Active ImageAuthorities in China’s troubled Xinjiang region are launching a "strike hard" security campaign. They say it will wipe out lawlessness, and "change the face" of the security situation in the area.


Below is an article published by NTDTV:

Xinjiang’s capital city, Urumqi, has been rocked by violence twice this year in conflicts between ethnic Uighur, Han Chinese, and armed police.

Chinese authorities blame the violence on so-called “ethnic separatists,” but Uighurs say they were calling for an investigation into the killing of Uighur workers by Han Chinese at a toy factory in Guangdong Province.

A violent uprising in July was the worst to hit the region in decades. Uighur groups say hundreds of people were killed. And in September, a spate of syringe stabbings targeting Uighurs again led to more violent demonstrations.

Xinjiang police told the Xinjiang Daily that this latest “strike hard” campaign is a manhunt to capture demonstrators involved in the July riots.

Human Rights Watch Asia Advocacy Director Sophie Richardson says fundamental changes are needed in the region.

[Sophie Richardson, Asia Advocacy Director, Human Rights Watch]:
“It is precisely these kinds of ‘strike hard’ campaigns that have contributed to tensions and unrest in Xinjiang. [It has] not created the conditions for the kind of stability the Chinese government says it wants. The reality is that stability is a product of people being able to peacefully speak their minds without fear of reprisal and the guarantees that are assured by an independent judicial system. And if what the Chinese government really wants in the long run is a minimization of unrest it has to grant people those rights.”

The term "strike hard" was used in the 1980s when Chinese authorities launched large-scale campaigns to catch dissidents. Chinese rights advocates later criticized those campaigns for leading to human rights abuses.