Magazine article New Internationalist

Forgotten Province: China's Oppression Furthers Uyghur Separatist Sentiment

Magazine article New Internationalist

Forgotten Province: China's Oppression Furthers Uyghur Separatist Sentiment

Article excerpt

ALTHOUGH China is well known for its abuses of human rights in Tibet and among its own people, it is also responsible for violent oppression in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), according to a briefing in the US Congress.

The Advocacy Director for Amnesty International USA, T Kumar, says that the XUAR, also known as Eastern Turkestan, is a 'forgotten province', due to the Chinese Government's travel restrictions and tough security measures.

Witnesses from the region, whose names are kept secret for their protection, spoke about their contact with the brutal policies of the Chinese Government. The XUAR is the only place within China where political prisoners are still being executed. More than one panellist related their first-hand knowledge of forced abortions. Those that object to the birth-control policies for traditional and religious reasons are sent to jail.

The panellists also detailed some of the degrading methods used to break the spirit of the Uyghur people, such as gang raping of Uyghur women, setting mad dogs on naked prisoners and the routine use of electric cattle prods to coax confessions.

Uyghur intellectuals spoke about the abuses suffered by anyone who dared to question Chinese authority. Translating an American book on Sino-Russian relations into Uyghur caused one panellist to be threatened by Chinese authorities and forced him to flee. Another panellist spoke about setting up an Uyghur cultural society to help young people stay away from drugs and alcohol, but the organization was smashed and the leaders sent to jail to be interrogated and tortured. …

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