Aug 03, 2009

East Turkestan: Iran Urges China to Respect Rights of Uyghurs

Active ImageIran's deputy foreign minister, in a meeting with Beijing's special envoy here in Tehran on Sunday, noted the recent developments in China's Xinjiang region, and asked Beijing to respect the rights of the country's Muslim minority.
Below is an article published by Fars News Agency:

During the meeting with the Chinese Foreign Minister's Special envoy to Iran, Hossein Sheikh al-Islam reminded the Iranian clerics' sensitivity to the recent events in Xinjiang, and urged China to respect Muslims' rights in the region and provide proper conditions for the Muslims to hold their religious ceremonies.

Senior Iranian clerics like Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi and Ayatollah Lotfollah Safi Golpaygani have condemned the recent killings of Muslims in China and asked the Foreign Ministry to seriously pursue the issue.

The crisis began in Xinjiang on July 5 [2009] when Chinese police severely cracked down on a demonstration held by Muslims in Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

The Uyghurs said they were protesting against the religious discrimination they experience at the hands of the Chinese government. At least 197 people were killed in the unrest.

There has been tension between the Muslim Uyghurs and Han Chinese in the region for decades.

During the meeting, the Chinese envoy underlined the significant role of the Muslims in the development of China's civilization and the importance of Xinjiang region for the relations between China and the Islamic world.

The Chinese envoy further stressed his country's resolve to restore peace in the Xinjiang and to observe the rights of the Muslims and all those who have sustained a loss during the unrests.