China slammed over Muslim region raid

Rebiya Kadeer, an exiled Chinese Muslim rights activist, demanded China on Wednesday to allow an independent investigation into a recent "terror" raid that killed 18 people in the predominantly Muslim Xinjiang region.

China slammed over Muslim region raid

The Chinese government claimed that all the dead were "terror suspects" who died Friday during a raid on an alleged training camp run by the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, or ETIM, a group labeled a "terrorist" organization by China and the United States.

Police said more than 17 people were also arrested in the raid, which took place in Akto, a county in the western autonomous Xinjiang region, about 120 miles east of Kyrgyzstan.

Nobel Peace Prize nominee Rebiya Kadeer, who is now living in exile in the United States, said in a statement that scholars and analysts believe that ETIM "ceased to exist when its purported leader was killed in a skirmish with the Pakistani military in Pakistan in late 2003."

China is waging a campaign against what it calls separatist activities of Xinjiang's dominant ethnic group, the Uighurs — Turkic-speaking Muslims whose language and culture are different from the rest of the country and who seek greater autonomy and independence.

Kadeer, an outspoken critic of China's treatment of the Uighurs, said that Beijing failed to produce any evidence supporting its claim that those killed in Friday's raid were "terrorists", or that the ETIM has links to al-Qaeda network.

"If the Chinese authorities want to be taken seriously as a responsible member of the world community, then they must allow independent scrutiny of any evidence they have for the claims they are making," she said in the statement.

Washington has rejected China's claim that Xinjiang's Muslim separatists were part of a global terror threat until 2002. It then reversed its stance in a move many analysts said was a reward to China for tightening its export controls on missile technology.

China keeps a tight grip on oil-rich Xinjiang, which shares borders with three former Soviet Central Asian republics, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia and Mongolia.

Human rights groups accuse Beijing of using its support for the U.S.-led "war on terror" to justify its crackdown on peaceful pro-independent movements by the Uighurs, including arbitrary arrests, closed-door trials and use of the death penalty.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16