World Bulletin / News Desk
Uighur Muslim religious leader Abdukiram Abduveli has entered his third month of a hunger strike in East Turkestan (Xinjiang) to protest against a fifth prison term that was slapped on him by the Chinese authorities.
Having originally been jailed for 12 years in 1993 for spreading “counterrevolutionary propaganda” by teaching Islam in the communist republic, Abduveli was then given another three year sentence after completing his first term in 2002. His sentence was then extended again in 2005, 2008 and 2011.
“It is against Chinese law and international law for Chinese authorities to extend his prison term,” Amnesty International China researcher William Nee told RFA’s Mandarin Service.
“His family told us that he has been on a hunger strike in prison for more than 60 days. He is very weak. He basically is unable to walk, and cannot speak for more than two minutes at a time,” Nee informed.
Uighurs are Turkic-language speaking Muslims. Many of them chafe at Chinese controls on their culture and religion. Estimates say that there are around 10 million Uighur Turks living in East Turkestan along side ethnic Han Chinese people who have migrated to the region in masses.
For decades, Uighur Turks have been subjected to oppressive measures including exile, forced abortions and executions. In 2009, ethnic tensions peaked in the region, with clashes between Uighurs and Han Chinese leaving around 200 people dead.
The government blames the violence on separatists from the Uighur community who want to establish an independent state. But rights advocates say China's harsh rule tramples on Uighurs' language and culture.Last Mod: 07 Mayıs 2014, 15:56