“Kashgar attacks expose deep wounds in East Turkestan”

The World Uyghur Congress and UAA are starting to release their official statements on the Kashgar violence:

UAA also urges the international community to afford the utmost skepticism to Chinese government claims associating terrorism with the reported attacks in Kashgar. Chinese authorities consistently issue accounts of events involving Uyghurs in East Turkestan that are not substantiated by compelling evidence. The Chinese government follows a pattern of issuing such accounts accompanied by accusations of terrorism and charges that outside forces were to blame for orchestrating violence. It also has a record of failing to allow journalists to freely report on such incidents.

The attacks that took place in Kashgar on July 30 and 31 took place against a backdrop of heavy-handed repression of Uyghurs carried out by the Chinese government.

“Chinese officials have sown the seeds of instability in East Turkestan through the repressive measures they have enforced since the unrest of July 5, 2009”, said Uyghur American Association president Alim Seytoff. “The killings and detentions of Uyghurs carried out by Chinese security forces, and the relentless atmosphere of fear and hopelessness that has existed throughout East Turkestan since July 2009, have pushed many Uyghurs to extreme desperation. This situation serves no one in the region, be they Uyghur or Han Chinese. The Chinese government must take responsibility for creating this climate of fear, and must take steps to end its brutality against Uyghurs in order to create peace in the region.”

The Chinese government issued a “White Paper on Development and Progress in Xinjiang” in 2009, declaring that ethnic harmony in East Turkestan has made great strides, and the only factor inhibiting social harmony and economic prosperity in the region is that of “East Turkestan terrorist forces” supported by “hostile foreign forces”. The document represents Chinese officials’ failure to investigate flaws in official policies, including a reliance on brute force to maintain “stability”. Incidences of unrest, often referred to as “mass incidents” by Chinese officials, have been on the increase throughout China in recent years, but outside of East Turkestan, these events are rarely labeled as terrorist acts.

They don’t seem to have specific details on what they believe happened yet, but so far I’m much more given to trusting them. The governor of Xinjiang can’t stub his toe without blaming it on “overseas hostile forces trained in Pakistan,” which rarely seems to coincide with reality.

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