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Uighur Muslims facing persecution: Rebiya Kadeer
Sunday June 23, 2013 10:59 PM, IINA

Chinese authorities are using army troops and special police forces to raid homes of Uighur Muslims and kill them easily without permission in the north western province of Xinjiang.

"We cannot talk about our culture, education and language," exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer told reporters during a lecture tour in Japan, AFP reported. "We talk now to the international world how to save our lives in our society."

Kadeer said special police in Xinjiang have the right to raid homes of Uighur Muslims.

"They can kill easily, without permission from the government", she said.

The accusations came a day after a Chinese court sentenced 19 Uighur Muslims to up to six years in jail for promoting racial hatred and religious extremism.

State media said one Uighur was sentenced to six years for downloading online materials to promote Jihad.

Eight other Uighurs were sentenced to up between two to five years for destroying televisions in what state media called a religious frenzy.

The sentences came days ahead of the fourth anniversary of deadly riots in Xinjiang, which left nearly 200 people dead.

Chinese authorities have convicted about 200 people, mostly Uighurs, over the riots and sentenced 26 of them to death. Uighur Muslims are a Turkish-speaking minority of eight million in the northwestern Xinjiang region.

Xinjiang, which activists call East Turkestan, has been autonomous since 1955 but continues to be the subject of massive security crackdowns by Chinese authorities.

Rights groups accuse Chinese authorities of religious repression against Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang in the name of counter terrorism.

Kadeer accused China of championing an ethnic cleansing campaign against Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang.

"I hope all the international world will not be patient with this ethnic cleansing policy," she said.

She said China's state media was calling Uighurs "terrorists" because they had knives, which she said they used for cutting vegetables.

Last April, 21 people, including police officers, were killed in violent clashes in Xinjiang. Chinese state media said gunfights had broken out during the incident after police tried to search the home of locals suspected of possessing illegal knives.

Beijing says six "terrorists" and 15 police and other workers were killed -- among them 10 from Uighur Muslims.

Kadeer said China had used the military to carry out the killings in Xinjiang.

"Security officers searched local people's houses, and police called the army," the Uighur leader said.

"Police and the army cooperated in killing people in that area," she said, adding the military had used explosives.

"We watched some videos of the area where the incident happened, and we cannot see any person living in that area. Just burning and collapsing ...houses."

Muslims accuse the government of settling millions of ethnic Han in their territory with the ultimate goal of obliterating its identity and culture.

Analysts say the policy of transferring Han Chinese to Xinjiang to consolidate Beijing's authority has increased the proportion of Han in the region from five percent in the 1940s to more than 40 percent now.

Beijing views the vast region of Xinjiang as an invaluable asset because of its crucial strategic location near Central Asia and its large oil and gas reserves.

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