UAA: La campagna “colpisci duro” nel Turkestan orientale

L’Associazione americana uiguri (UAA) condanna le autorità cinesi per aver lanciato la campagna “colpisci duro” nel Turkestan orientale volta a ristabilire ordine nella regione.

The Uyghur American Association (UAA) condemns Chinese authorities’ launching of a “strike hard” campaign aimed at carrying out further detentions of Uyghurs in East Turkestan. On November 2, the official Xinhua news agency reported that police in East Turkestan had launched a “strike hard” campaign to “wipe out lawlessness” and return stability to the region.

According to Xinhua, and the campaign will be carried out from early November through the end of the year, during which time security forces will “root out places where criminals breed” and search for suspects related to the July 5 unrest that took place in the regional capital of Urumchi. UAA fears the new campaign signals that widespread unlawful detentions of Uyghurs will intensify in the coming weeks and months, and that they may be used to silence Uyghurs who express concern over the mass detentions themselves.

More than 130,000 troops were reportedly deployed to East Turkestan from other regions of China in a bid to restore order and crack down on the Uyghur population after July 5. An untold number of Uyghurs have been swept up in “enforced disappearances” in Urumchi, Kashgar and other cities since July 5, in large-scale sweep operations and targeted raids.In a recent report, Human Rights Watch illustrated how mass arrests and detentions of Uighurs carried out after July 5 violated both Chinese and international law, as security forces did not provide reasons for arresting people, and failed to inform family members of the locations where their loved ones were being deteined.

“Chinese authorities have already made a mockery of the rule of law in China by unlawfully sweeping up thousands of Uyghurs in the wake of July 5,” said Uyghur democracy leader Rebiya Kadeer. “Now it appears that Chinese officials are engaging in an even more zealous drive to intimidate Uyghurs into absolute silence. It seems they will only be satisfied when there is no one left among the Uyghur population who dares to express concern over the state brutality that has been carried out since July 5.”

Chinese officials recently detained Uyghur journalist Hairat Niyaz on suspicion of “endangering state security”, which his family believes is due to interviews he gave to foreign media organizations about the July 5 unrest. In addition to writing for state media publications, Niyaz was a manager and editor of the “Uighur Online” website (http://www.uighurbiz.cn), whose founder, Ilham Tohti, was also jailed for a period of time following July 5. Tohti reported that Niyaz was taken from his home in Urumchi on October 1.

Other Uyghurs who have publicized information about police abuses, such as two men living in Qorghas County who told Radio Free Asia about the death of a Uyghur detainee in police custody, have also been detained.

Cited in the November 3 edition of the Guardian newspaper, Human Rights Watch Asia researcher Nicholas Bequelin stated that “strike hard” campaigns, which have been carried out in East Turkestan for more than a decade, result in accelerated judicial proceedings, a lower threshold for arrests and convictions, and a higher number of people who are sentenced.

The PRC government has used frequent “strike hard” campaigns to target many peaceful expressions of Uyghur identity inside East Turkestan. Since 9/11, Amnesty International has documented that, under these types of campaigns, “tens of thousands of people are reported to have been detained for investigation in the region, and hundreds, possibly thousands, have been charged or sentenced under the Criminal Law; many Uighurs are believed to have been sentenced to death and executed for alleged “separatist” or “terrorist” offences.”

Traditionally, “strike hard” campaigns in East Turkestan are known to exacerbate Chinese government authorities’ tendency to over-state the seriousness of a perceived crime. “Strike hard” campaigns are generally typified by arbitrary punishments and an increased use of the death penalty.

Fonte: UHRP Press Release, 5 novembre 2009

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