Muslim Uighurs seek an independent Islamic state. But are they peaceful? Amnesty International thinks so. But of course, Amnesty International has never yet uttered the words “jihad” or “dhimmi” — so how useful is its perspective on human rights, when it ignores these elephantine sources of human rights violations? From Radio Free Asia, :
HONG KONG, Sept. 13, 2004–Authorities in China’s northwestern Muslim region of Xinjiang have sentenced more than 50 people to death this year in what government officials say is a war on terrorism.
“Due to the fact that the activities of international terrorist forces are rampant, we believe our fight against the crime of violent terrorists will continue for a long time to come,” Xinjiang Communist Party leader Wang Lequan told reporters visiting the region.
Prior to the war in Iraq, which it opposed, Beijing backed the U.S.-led war on terror, using its momentum to call for international support for its campaign against Uyghur separatists, whom it has branded terrorists.
China says Uyghurs seeking an independent Islamic state have killed 162 people and injured 440 others.
But human rights groups say Beijing is using the threat of terrorism as an excuse to perpetrate further human rights violations against those involved in a peaceful campaign for an independent Uyghur state, which exiled groups call East Turkestan.
“Over the last three years, Uyghur nationalists who would formerly have been branded as ‘separatists’ have increasingly been labeled ‘terrorists,'” Amnesty International said in a report last month on China’s “War on Terror.”
The government had cracked 22 groups involved in separatist and terrorist activities and meted out the 50 death sentences in the first eight months of the year, Wang said. But none of those sentenced to death had yet been executed, Wang said without explaining.
“Our efforts will exist as long as there are terrorist crimes,” Wang said.