Jun 05, 2009

East Turkestan: Kadeer Rejects Chinese Terror Report

Active ImageRebiya Kadeer and the Uyghur community react with skepticism to Chinese reports of smashed terrorist cells in East Turkestan.



Below is an article published by Google News/AFP:

WASHINGTON (AFP) — The leader of Uighurs in exile on Wednesday [3 June 2009] voiced "utmost" skepticism after China said it smashed "terror cells" in their predominantly Muslim region.

Chinese state media said police have dismantled seven cells of extremists so far this year [2009] in Kashgar, China's westernmost city and a key center of culture for the Uighurs, who have long bridled under Beijing's rule.

Rebiya Kadeer, the Washington-based leader of the world's Uighurs in exile, said China made the allegations "without producing the slightest piece of evidence."

"I stress that the international community should view these claims with the utmost of skepticism," Kadeer, who spent some six years in prison in China, said in a statement.

"These allegations are being made in such a way so as to associate peaceful Uighurs with the scourge of terrorism," she said.

While casting doubt on the report, Kadeer's Uighur American Association also said it opposed terrorism and the use of violence.

China has long claimed it faces a deadly threat from Muslim separatists as justification for extremely tight controls in Xinjiang, a region of vast deserts and towering mountains that borders central Asia.

However, Uighur exile groups accuse Beijing of inflating the threat as an excuse to suppress their culture and ethnic identity.

In April [2009], China executed two Uighur men in Kashgar for what it calls a "terrorist" attack last August [2008] in the city aimed at sabotaging the Olympics and that left 17 policemen dead, according to state media.