China executes Uighur Muslim activist

Chinese authorities executed an ethnic Uighur Muslim activist in the far-west city of Urumqi, capital of the predominantly Muslim Xinjiang province, the U.S.-government sponsored Radio Free Asia reported.

China executes Uighur Muslim activist

The radio station said Ismail Semed was shot dead on Thursday at 09:00 a.m. local time.

Semed was deported to China from Pakistan in 2003 and was sentenced to death October 31, 2005 by the Urumqi City Intermediate People's Court for "attempting to split the motherland" and "possessing firearms and explosives," Uighur sources told the radio station.

Samed's wife, Buhejer, who insists that he was forced into confessing his alleged crimes, said she was informed her husband was going to be executed on Monday and was allowed to visit him briefly that same day, according to RFA.

"(It was) only for 10 minutes, we didn't have too much time to talk ... Previously, he had said his leg hurt, and his stomach hurt, and other parts of his body hurt, and that he needed medicine," she said.

"When the body was transferred to us at the cemetery I saw only one bullet hole in his heart," she added.

Buhejer also said that her husband had told the court that his confession was coerced.

"They forced me," she quoted him as saying.

"Not Fair"

Turkic-speaking Muslim Uighurs seek greater autonomy and some want independence from China, but Beijing keeps a tight grip on their region.

Critics say Semed's case was marred by a lack of evidence, and that the charges were based on the allegation that Semed was a founding member of the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) – a group that includes Uighur separatists who want their own nation in western China.

Both Beijing and Washington classify ETIM as a "terrorist organization."

"His trial, like most Uighur political prisoners' trials, was not fair," the World Uighur Congress said.

According to RFA, Semed served two prison sentences for Uighur separatist activities, and finally fled to Pakistan in 1997 after Chinese security forces broke up an Uighur demonstration in Yining (Ghulja).

T. Kumar of Amnesty International in Washington said "hundreds, if not thousands, were killed or seriously injured" in unrest sparked by the February 1997 incident.

Human rights group accuse China of carrying out a "crushing campaign of religious repression" against Muslim Uighurs, who make up about eight million of the 19 million people in Xinjiang

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16