Le autorità governative nella città di Karamay ordinano a quadri del Partito di prendere maggiori misure di controllo sulle attività della popolazione Uighura

Secondo la stampa cinese vi saranno delle maggiori misure di controllo sulle Moschee ed i praticanti mussulmani nel Turkestan Orientale (provincia di XinJiang).  Lo dichiara la Uyghur American Association. Segue il loro comunicato in inglese.

For immediate release
November 21, 2008, 4:00 pm EST
Contact: Uyghur American Association +1 (202) 349 1496 

According to an official Chinese media report, new regulations being implemented in the city of Karamay in the northern part of East Turkestan (also known as Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in northwest China) stipulate that minority cadres in the local government must engage in close contact with local mosques and worshippers, in part to “cut off unstable factors” and “achieve the goal of unifying the masses of worshippers”. The Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) believes the new policy of closer oversight of Islamic religious worship in the city indicates intensified government restriction that will prevent Uyghur religious worshippers from practicing their faith freely.

At a meeting held on November 17 in Karamay, Party Standing Committee Member Burhan Kahar, together with other local government officials, put forth specific arrangements for 22 minority cadres in Karamay to liaise with mosques and religious worshippers in the area. According to the new rules, every minority cadre at the deputy bureau level and above must communicate with the leaders of one mosque each specified period, and must communicate with each “responsible person” at the mosque at least once during that period. One out of every two cadres at the deputy director level and above must communicate with one mosque at least once a month, and must communicate with each “responsible person” at the mosque at least once.

Kahar stated that all levels of minority cadres should take a leading role in the work of communicating with worshippers, making use of the advantages they possess in terms of a common language and background, and to work toward the “unification” of religious believers. He also emphasized the long-term nature of these efforts, and urged minority cadres to avoid a mere superficial undertaking of this work to “protect social stability”.

UHRP is particularly concerned about the official media report’s references to social stability and unification. Such words, frequently used by Chinese government officials in East Turkestan, often indicate a clampdown on Uyghurs whose assertions of religious belief or cultural identity are viewed as a separatist threat. The rules come on the heels of a Ramadan (the Muslim holy month) that saw an unprecedented tightening of religious control throughout East Turkestan. Students and government employees were not permitted to fast during Ramadan this year or attend mosques in general. Restaurants were also forced to open during fasting hours.

The article also refers to the November 17 meeting’s adherence to the spirit of Deputy Communist Party Secretary Nur Bakri’s remarks at a recent high-level meeting in September. At the September meeting, Bakri condemned “imperialist plans to split China” by fomenting violence in East Turkestan, and railed against the three evils of “terrorism, separatism and extremism”. UHRP is concerned that Karamay officials’ reference to Bakri’s September remarks indicate a lack of distinction between Uyghurs’ peaceful expression of their religious beliefs and acts of violence or terrorism.

“The Chinese government is demonizing Uyghurs’ religious beliefs, in Karamay and in cities and towns throughout East Turkestan,” said Uyghur democracy leader Rebiya Kadeer. “By linking religious practices with calls for social stability and requiring greater government control of mosques, the Chinese government leaves no room for Uyghurs’ to peacefully practice their religion.”

While China’s constitution guarantees religious freedom to all citizens, including the right to “[…] believe in, or not believe in, any religion”, religion is often viewed as detrimental to society, particularly in the Uyghur case. Uyghurs’ religious identity is viewed as a threat that must be controlled or eradicated. Uyghur imams are required to attend “political education classes”, and their sermons are restricted in terms of in length and content. Minors are forbidden from entering a mosque or engaging in religious study; Uyghur government cadres are forbidden from practicing Islam; and Uyghur women and university students face restrictions in their religious worship. Only official versions of the Koran are permitted.

Uyghurs are not permitted to undertake Hajj, unless it is with an expensive official tour, in which applicants are carefully vetted for their “obedience to the law”. Confiscations of passports, to the point where very few Uyghurs have passports, ensures adherence to the ‘official tours only’ policy, and also restricts other types of international trips.  

The majority of religious Uyghurs in East Turkestan practice a moderate form of Islam, which has been influenced by East Turkestan’s historical role as a crossroads of cultures and traditions. This historical background has lent Uyghurs a relatively tolerant system of religious beliefs and anopenness to other cultures.

Uyghur Human Rights Project

Uyghur American Association

1701 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W. Suite 300

Washington, D.C.  20006

Tel: +1 (202) 349 1496

Fax: +1 (202) 349 1491





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