Apr 20, 2015

East Turkestan: Two Ethnic Uyghurs Shot Dead by Chinese Forces on Vietnam Border

The growing number of Muslim Uyghurs fleeing out of China to seek political asylum mostly in Asia, bears proof of the ever-growing tensions between the minority group and the Chinese government. In a recent incident two fleeing Uyghurs were shot dead on the Vietnamese border. Whereas the Chinese authorities use the tense political climate as a pretext to label Uyghurs as Islamist militants with potential links to extremist groups, human rights advocates stress that they are subjected to severe human rights abuse by the government.

Below is an article by Reuters

Chinese police have shot dead two suspected "terrorists" on the border with Vietnam, part of a group of people trying to sneak out of the country, state media said on Friday [April 17 2015].

The group was discovered on Friday morning in Dongxing city, which lies on the other side of Vietnam's border in the southern region of Guangxi, the China News Service said on its official microblog.

Two escaped while they were being detained by police, but were tracked down and shot dead, the report added.

It provided no other details.

Chinese police have previously captured or killed ethnic Uighurs from the far western Chinese region of Xinjiang who have tried to cross into Vietnam.

Exile group the World Uyghur Congress said that growing numbers of Uighurs were trying to "extricate themselves from a life of terror in China".

"More and more Uighurs are paying with their lives in trying to flee," spokesman Dilxat Raxit said in an emailed statement.

Hundreds of people have been killed around China in the past two years in violence between majority Han Chinese and Uighurs, a Muslim minority from Xinjiang.

Chinese authorities say they worry that Uighurs go abroad to link up with Islamist militants, but human rights groups say Uighurs are fleeing persecution under harsh government policies.

The flow of Uighurs across China's porous southern border has swelled in recent years and groups have surfaced in Southeast Asia seeking political asylum.

The government says Islamist militants want to create an independent state called East Turkestan.

But exiles and many human rights advocates argue that economic marginalization of Uighurs and curbs on their culture and religion are main causes of ethnic violence.