Dec 15, 2004

East Turkestan: Uyghurs urges Germany to be Prudent in terrorism allegations

The World Uyghur Congress urges the German authorities to be prudent in its investigation of China's allegations that Uyghurs in Germany are planning terrorist attack
Untitled Document
The World Uyghur Congress (WUC) urges the German authorities to be prudent in its investigation of China's allegations that Uyghurs in Germany are planning terrorist attacks on China. This is Beijing's new attempt to further link the Uyghur organizations legally operating in Germany to "terrorism" after its failure to have its "First Batch of East Turkistan Terrorist Organizations and Individuals" recognized in December 2003, and its failure to prevent the establishment of World Uyghur Congress in April 2004.

According to Der Spiegel report on Monday, "German investigators are expected in China to examine allegations from Beijing that exiles from China's Uyghur minority are planning terrorist activities from German soil." The weekly reported that two German investigators are due to travel to China to consult the evidence collected by the Chinese authorities. The magazine said Germany has so far refused to follow up China's demand that it ban two Uyghur groups based on its territory and ban its leaders, on the grounds that it lacks enough evidence.

While WUC sincerely appreciates Germany's long-standing position to refuse to follow up China's demand to ban Uyghur groups and leaders operating in this country, it urges the two investigators to carefully examine all aspects of China's evidence supporting such a serious allegation, and make an impartial judgment consistent with international standard and law. Because WUC rejects China's allegation and believes it's a fabrication.

It is a fact that China has been aggressively taking advantage of the tragedy that took place in America on the September 11, 2001, and persecuting the Uyghur people of East Turkistan, linking their legitimate opposition to colonial Chinese rule as "terrorism." Not only has such fact been confirmed by the Uyghur groups operating outside China but also by the international human rights organizations in the world.

According to Amnesty International report released in July 2004, following the attacks in the USA on September 11, 2001, the Chinese authorities have actively sought to justify their crackdown in the region as part of the international "war on terror" in an attempt to get international support for their actions. Since then, the Chinese authorities have widely publicized a few explosions and other violent activities attributed to certain Uyghur groups during the 1980s and 1990s and used this as a pretext to justify the its crackdown in the region.

"China has repackaged its repression of Uighurs as a fight against 'terrorism'," said Amnesty International. "Since the 11 September 2001 attacks on the USA, the Chinese government has been using "anti-terrorism" as a pretext to increase its crackdown on all forms of political or religious dissent in the region."

In its first report on the gross human rights violations of the Uyghur people, Amnesty International documented a systematic abuse and torture of Uyghur political prisoners by the Chinese guards. The report, which was issued in April 1999, said the Chinese prison guards tortured Uyghur prisoners with electric chairs, pulled their nails, inserted horse-hairs into their genitals, hanged them on the walls for days, and soaked freezing water on naked prisoners from head to toe.

Such inhuman torture methods were applied by the Chinese authorities to extract confessions, inflict extreme pain, and destroy their will to resist. As a result of such torture, many Uyghur prisoners confessed "crimes" they never committed, and some died in Chinese prisons. Both Amnesty International and Uyghur sources inside East Turkistan said China intensified the pace of arbitrary arrest, torture, and execution of Uyghur prisoners, linking them to terrorism, especially after September 11, 2001.

Despite the warning of U.S. President George Bush in October 2001 that China should not to persecute the Uyghur people in the name of fighting against terrorism, and despite the claim of Ismail Televaldi, chair of "Xinjiang" Uyghur Autonomous Region, in April 2004 that "not one incident of explosion or assassination took place in the last few year," China continues to brutalize the entire Uyghur population in East Turkistan and further attempts to discredit Uyghur political leaders, and dismantle democratic and nonviolent Uyghur organizations abroad, fabricating stories and calling them "terrorist."

Since such is the purpose and nature of China's so-called war on terrorism, both the United States and Germany refused to recognize the East Turkistan Information Center, The World Uyghur Youth Congress, and the East Turkistan Liberation Organization along with eleven individuals as terrorist. This is also due to the lack of real evidence these Uyghur organizations and individuals were actually involved in acts of terrorism. However, through political pressures and economic inducements, China shamelessly persists in its claim and demands other countries to side with Beijing in order to win its war on Uyghur "terrorism," even though nobody is buying such a fiction in the world.

The World Uyghur Congress urges the German authorities to independently verify all the evidence presented by the Chinese government with regard to its allegation that Uyghurs are planning terrorist activities in German soil. The Uyghur exile community in Germany is a law-abiding community. The Uyghur organizations in Germany are legally registered and lawfully operating under German law. They have not violated and do not intend to violate German law. All they want to do is to peacefully advocate the human rights and religious freedom of the Uyghur people under the iron rule of the authoritarian Chinese government.

Although promoting human rights, religious freedom, and democracy for the Uyghur people in East Turkistan can be defined as terrorism in China, but it is allowed to promote such universal values in a Western democracy, especially Germany. Yet China attempts to force the international community to accept that Uyghurs are terrorists since they are Muslims. Being a Muslim is not equal to being a terrorist.

WUC condemns terrorism in all shapes and forms whether it is being committed by a state, a group, or an individual. WUC, as a legitimate representative of all the Uyghur people in the world promotes their right to use peaceful, nonviolent, and democratic means to determine the political future of East Turkestan. It adheres to the internationally accepted human rights standard and the principles of democratic pluralism. It rejects totalitarianism, religious intolerance, and terrorism as an instrument of policy.