Top Communist Party official sacked in Uighur region for Han Chineses

China sacked the top official of the Urumqi as well as the regional police chief over Han Chineses' pressure.

Top Communist Party official sacked in Uighur region for Han Chineses


World Bulletin / News Desk

China sacked the top official of the Urumqi as well as the regional police chief on Saturday over Han Chineses' pressure.

But Uighurs said that they live under an ethnic discrimination and pressure and they spoke of harassment.

"Look at how the security forces are allowing the Chinese to protest. If a Uighur does anything at all, any Chinese citizen can call the police," said a Uighur man, Ali, adding that he had been detained for 48 hours in late July.

The official Xinhua news agency did not explain why the city's Communist Party Secretary, Li Zhi, was replaced by Zhu Hailun, head of Uighur region's law-and-order committee.

Call for resign

During Thursday's protests, crowds called for regional Communist Party boss Wang Lequan to resign. Wang, who has held the region's most powerful position for 14 years, had made no appearances in state media on Friday, as of early evening.

But Li presided over the city during deadly unrest on July 5 when a protest by Muslim Uighurs, who call East Turkistan their homeland.

On July 5, Uighur demonstrators took the streets in Urumqi 5 to protest against Han Chineses' attacks on Uighurs workers at a factory in south China in June which left two Uighurs dead. Hans in Urumqi sought bloody revenge two days later.

World Uighur Congress said that near 800 Uigurs were killed during a week-violence after Han Chineses attacks and following intervention of China forces. The China governmnet put the death toll 197.

Video appeared showing Chinese lynch that sparked Uighur protests. Exiled Uighur leaders said the protests were peaceful until security forces over-reacted with deadly force.

Chinese police arrested 1,434 Uighurs two days after killing thousands and wounding more than 1,000 since Uighurs started the protests in the capital Urumqi.

Police chief sacked

Officials said five people died in protests on Thursday. Xinjiang in name China called in 1955 police chief Liu Yaohua was replaced by Zhu Changjie, party chief of Xinjiang's Aksu Prefecture.

The sackings could feed more speculation about the future of Wang Lequan, the regional Communist Party boss, who has barely appeared in state media in the past couple of days, after he pleaded from a balcony with Han crowds demanding his ouster.

"They should replace Wang Lequan ... Of course this will not be totally fair, but we wish to have a secure environment," said one resident, who did not wish to give his name.

Troops used tear gas to break up a group of people, apparently Han Chinese, gathered near city government offices in Urumqi on Saturday, footage from Cable TV of Hong Kong showed.

But shops, buses and roads also began to come back to life on Saturday, watched over by thousands of police and anti-riot troops.


The minister of public security, Meng Jianzhu, flew to Urumqi to oversee security.

"The needle-stabbing attacks of recent days were a continuation of the July 5 incident," Meng said, according to the official People's Daily on Saturday. "Their goal is to wreck ethnic unity and create splits in the motherland."

Three Uighur men and one woman were indicted on charges of "endangering public security" allegedly connected with the spate of stabbings, city procurator Udgar Abdulrahman said on Saturday.

More than 500 people have registered as having been stabbed, but just over 100 had detectable pricks, redness, or other physical signs, military doctors told reporters. Of those, 22 were being monitored for signs of infection.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 05 Eylül 2009, 18:40