The Diplomat Interviews Rebiya Kadeer

The Diplomat
By Joseph Hammond
October 25, 2013

Rebiya Kadeer, once a Uyghur businesswoman with friends in the Chinese Communist Party, is now one of the most outspoken critics of China’s policy towards Xinjiang, or New Frontier Province, a region formerly known as “East Turkestan,” which like Tibet enjoyed brief periods of independence from Beijing in the early 20th century. Imprisoned from 2000-2006 due to her political activism, she was released after the intervention of the U.S. government in 2006. That year, Kadeer was nominated for a Noble Peace Prize and was included in the 2012 edition of world’s 500 Most Influential Muslims in 2012. The Diplomat’sJoseph Hammond recently spoke with her.The past few months have seen Uighurs rioting against the Chinese government across what China considers Xinjiang but, to the region’s native Turkic peoples, is known as “East Turkestan.”

The bloody clashes in recent months are a direct result of the Chinese regime’s intensely repressive policies towards the Uyghur people, and at the same time reflects a Uighur Awakening. In June alone, there were seven incidents of unrest. The Chinese government has repeatedly tried to portray Uyghur’s peaceful discontent with China’s repressive policies as terrorism, but there is absolutely no organized terrorist threat in East Turkestan. I wholeheartedly deplore terrorism of all kinds, and strongly urge the international community to repudiate China’s outrageous claims of a Uyghur terrorist threat….(…)

UHRP (Huighur Human Rights Project), 10/25/2013

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