EU rights head calls for independent international Uighur inquiry

The head of the European Parliament's human rights committee backed a call for an independent international inquiry into deadly Chinese crackdown in Uighur region in July.

EU rights head calls for independent international Uighur inquiry

The head of the European Parliament's human rights committee backed a call on Tuesday for an independent international inquiry into deadly Chinese crackdown in Uighur region in July.

"We have got some quite worrying information about events of July 5," Heidi Hautala told a joint news conference with Rebiya Kadeer, exiled member of Muslim Uighurs who earlier addressed the parliamentary committee.

"I believe that there is a case for an independent international investigation so that all human rights violations from all sides can be cleared and investigated," Hautala said.

She said such an inquiry should be conducted by the United Nations with the backing of the European Union.

Kadeer said some 10,000 Uighurs were missing following the protests and accused the Chinese Communist government of pursuing a policy resembling "cultural genocide" in what Uighurs call East Turkestan.

She called in July on the international community to send an independent investigative team to the site of the protests.

"The arrests and detentions continue," she told the news conference, adding that most were teenage students who, she said, were being tortured in detention.

Kadeer accused the Chinese authorities of using the international offensive against Islamist fighters and the global economic downturn as pretexts to repress the Uighur people.

Han Chinese attack on Uighur workers in a factory, that cost lives of two people and injured 118, sparked massive protests in East Turkistan that China changed its name to "Xinjiang" in 1955, calling it "Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region."

China officially raised the death toll to 197 in police crackdown, but accepted to kill only 12 Uighurs.

East Turkistan, that has 8 million Uighurs, borders Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, has abundant oil reserves and is China's largest natural gas-producing region.



Agencies

Last Mod: 02 Eylül 2009, 17:34
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