If China was “cracking down” on a Christian minority group, would this even be making headlines? “US lawmakers condemn crackdown on China’s minority Muslims,” from AFP, July 12:
WASHINGTON (AFP) “” US lawmakers on Friday “strongly condemned” what they called Beijing’s harsh pre-Olympic crackdown in China’s Muslim-populated far northwest Xinjiang region.
The bipartisan leadership of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus in a statement cited “credible” reports about a July 9 conviction in a closed trial of 15 minority Muslim Uighurs on terrorism charges that led to “the immediate execution of two” of them.
Three others were given suspended death sentences and the remaining 10 received life imprisonment, it said.
These are “abuses of due process and rule of law,” said caucus co-chairmen Democrat Jim McGovern and Republican Frank Wolf.
On the same day, they said, police in Urumchi, the regional capital of Xinjiang, reportedly killed five Uighur men who authorities claimed were part of a 15-member criminal gang allegedly trained for “holy war.”
“The Chinese government should not be permitted to use the ‘war on terror’ or Olympic security as a front to persecute the Uighurs,” Wolf said.
“These trials’ appear to be no more than a ploy to oppress religious freedom and ethnic minority groups,” he said.
Chinese police have this year detained 82 suspected terrorists in Xinjiang who they said were planning to attack the Beijing Olympics, state media reported on Thursday.
The 82 belonged to five groups that “allegedly plotted sabotage against the Beijing Olympics,” Xinhua news agency reported, citing police.
It was the first time that Chinese officials had given a total number of suspects detained in a series of raids this year.