Tensions rise in East Turkestan after youth killing

East Turkestan, otherwise known as China's Xinjiang province, has seen increasing crackdowns on its native Uighur Muslim community as of late.

Tensions rise in East Turkestan after youth killing

World Bulletin / News Desk

China's East Turkestan (Xinjiang) province looks likely to turn into a scene of clashes amid high tensions following the murder of a 17-year-old ethnic Uighur Turk by Chinese police who was shot dead after driving past a red light.

After Radio Free Asia and the China Digital Times reported a brutal crackdown by Chinese authorities on protests that immediately followed the killing, the Chinese State Information Department wasted no time in ordering the removal of the reports.

Meanwhile, 25 Uighur Turk representatives have been meeting to discuss the situation in their state of exile in Germany. Alim Seytoff, a spokesman for the World Uighur Congress, said that thousands of Uighurs have recently gone missing after being arrested by Chinese police.

Complaining that the Chinese authorities were executing Uighurs withour trial and opening fire on Uighur civilians, Seytoff said that even women and children were not being spared. 'On top of that, these people are accused of being terrorists or extremists,' he said.

Rights activists Ulrich Delius also said that the threat Uighurs were facing at the hands of the Chinese authorities was getting worse, the same way it is getting worse for the people of Tibet.

Estimates say that there are around 10 million Uighur Turks living in East Turkestan along side ethnic Han Chinese people who have migrated to the region in masses. Uighur Turks, who are Muslims, have faced religious suppressiong in their homeland, which they consider to be under Chinese occupation.

For decades, Uighur Turks have been subjected to oppressive measures including exile, forced abortions and executions. In 2009, ethnic tensions peaked in the region, with clashes between Uighurs and Han Chinese leaving around 200 people dead.

Hundreds of Uighurs have fled their homeland as recent tensions once again threaten to spiral out of control.

Last Mod: 19 Nisan 2014, 16:51
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