Piazza Tienanmen 22 anni dopo

Ventidue anni dopo il massacro di Piazza Tienanmen del 4 giugno 1989, la Uyghur American Association (UAA) invita il governo cinese a delle riforme democratiche e al rispetto dei diritti umani di tutti i cittadini cinesi.

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Twenty-two years after the Tiananmen Square massacre of June 4, 1989, the Uyghur American Association (UAA) calls upon the Chinese government to embrace democratic reforms and respect the rights of all Chinese citizens. Until the Chinese government provides a full and fair account of the events of June 4, there will be no foundation for the pursuit of freedom and democracy in China today. Recent mass protests by ethnic Mongolians, sparked by the death of a Mongolian herder, represent the continuing inability of China’s political system to effectively address the real problems facing the indigenous peoples living in the historically disputed areas of East Turkestan, Tibet and Southern Mongolia (also known as Inner Mongolia). The protests followed unrest in Urumchi, the capital of East Turkestan, in July 2009, and turmoil in Tibetan areas in the spring of 2008. So-called “mass incidents” of protest and violence are endemic throughout China today, with tens of thousands occurring every year as a result of land and labor disputes, housing demolition and other social issues, and as a result of political repression and cultural assimilation in East Turkestan and Tibet. “Mass incidents” have only increased in frequency and intensity since 1989, revealing the flawed logic behind Chinese officials’ gamble that economic development alone will bring stability. In the absence of any official forum for resolving popular grievances, and with Uyghurs, Tibetans, Mongolians and Chinese lacking any representative voice in government, genuine stability will continue to elude the Chinese government. Chinese officials invariably revert to the same playbook when responding to popular unrest, meting out repression while failing to speak to the underlying causes of protest. However, in the words of President Barack Obama last month, repression offers only the false promise of stability, and societies are more successful when their citizens are free. As President Obama stated, the choice between stability and democracy is a false one.  Today, fully-armed Chinese security forces continue to patrol the streets of major cities and neighborhoods in East Turkestan and Tibet, and People’s Armed Police have responded with overwhelming force to protests in Southern Mongolia. Reports indicate that Internet access in the regional capital of Hohhot has been suspended, and text messages are being restricted, reminiscent of the way in which authorities shut down the Internet throughout East Turkestan after the July 2009 unrest. Egyptian and Tunisian leaders attempted to block Internet access during the early stages of the Arab Spring, but were ultimately unsuccessful in obstructing either the Internet or the flood of protestors on the streets. Decades of repression failed to prevent the revolutions springing up in Egypt, Tunisia and other countries, which have resulted in the ousting of these nations’ dictators from power. Leaders such as former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak attributed popular protests in his country to “foreign influence” and “foreign provocateurs”. In the same vein, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu stated that foreigners were seeking to “stir up trouble” in Inner Mongolia, and Chinese authorities similarly blamed overseas exiles during the 2009 unrest in East Turkestan and the 2008 unrest in Tibet.  If Chinese leaders continue to repress Uyghurs, Chinese and others with an iron fist and reject democracy, their fate will not be any different from that of Ben Ali, Hosni Mubarak or Muammar Gaddafi. Chinese officials must seek to resolve the East Turkestan and Tibetan questions through peaceful, meaningful and genuine negotiations. They must also acknowledge those who lost their lives at Tiananmen, and show respect for the calls of all of China’s citizens for freedom and democracy. The economic development China has achieved does not justify the systematic human rights violations it continues to carry out among the Chinese, Uyghur, Tibetan and Mongolian people.

Fonte: UAA, 3 giugno 2011

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