Uighur exiles ask German leader to talk human rights on China trip

Exiles belonging to the Uighur ethnic group appealed to Chancellor Angela Merkel to lobby for human rights and for the Uighur minority during her trip next week to China in a letter to the German leader released Friday.

Uighur exiles ask German leader to talk human rights on China trip
Exiles belonging to the Uighur ethnic group appealed to Chancellor Angela Merkel to lobby for human rights and for the Uighur minority during her trip next week to China in a letter to the German leader released Friday.

The Munich-based World Uighur Congress demanded the release of all political prisoners in the Uighur homeland in the Xinjiang region of north-west China. The organization also said in the letter that Merkel should speak out for the abolishment of the death penalty in Xinjiang, the closure of labour camps, and an end to human-rights abuses and Chinese immigration to the region.

"The policies of the Chinese government threatens the civilization, culture, religion and the existence of the Uighur people," said the letter to the chancellor, who is to visit China from Sunday through Wednesday.

The exiled Uighurs charged Chinese authorities with suppression, arbitrary arrests and executions of political prisoners in Xinjiang. Relatives of dissidents are convicted without evidence and sent to prison, they said, adding that Merkel should specifically lobby for the release of the son of Rebiya Kadeer, the president of the World Uighur Congress.

"We expect explicit words from you," the letter told Merkel, adding in a reference to human-rights issues she brought up on a trip to Russia, "What was right in Russia cannot be wrong in China."

After their rise to power in Beijing in 1949, the Communists annexed the region where 20 million of the Turkic people live today. Many Uighurs demand the re-establishment of their earlier republic of East Turkistan and are regarded as separatists by the Chinese government.

DPA
Last Mod: 24 Ağustos 2007, 14:19
Add Comment