- Fri, 07/23/2010 - 12:00
Sabbir Uddin Ahmed
China has been brutally carrying out repression and torture on Uighur Muslims. The only fault of Uighur Muslims is that they want Independence of their motherland Xinjiang. Last year Chinese security forces ruthlessly quelled the movement. Consequently hundreds of Uighurs were killed and thousands injured.
On July 5 Muslim Uighur minority observed the first anniversary of deadly unrest that laid bare deep- seated ethnic tensions in the far-western Xinjiang. Security forces fanned out to keep China's Urumqi city of Xinjiang in check on the first anniversary of ethnic unrest in this region.
Urumqi, the regional capital, erupted in violence on July 5 last year between the mainly Muslim Uighur minority and members of China's dominant Han ethnic group, fuelled by Uighur resentment over Beijing's rule of Xinjiang. In the following day mobs of angry Han took to the streets looking for revenge in the worst ethnic violence that China had seen in decades. The unrest left 200 dead and 1,700 injured according to the Chinese government figures. According to the international observers the number of killed and injured was more than that.
On July 5 security personnel were concentrated in the city centre and the Uighur areas of Urumqi. Armed security forces and riot police patrolled in formation, and police vans made regular rounds in the area.
Armed police with helmets and shields also marched on the edges of People's Square in the heart of the city where the unrest began last year. The plaza has been shut down for renovation, construction workers. Police patrolled in groups outside the city government headquarters. " It's really tense today. Look at the streets. There aren't many people there and normally it would be bustling at this time of day," Lin Yan, a 50- year- old Han Chinese taxi driver said. Members of China's Uighur ethnic minority and their Japanese supporters on July 4 held a rally commemorating the first anniversary of deadly ethnic unrest in China's far western Xinjiang region.
" Free Uighurs! We want real freedom!" around 60- 70 demonstrators shouted, as they marched from a Tokyo park. The marchers carried the large sky- blue flags of East Turkistan, home to Uighurs but crushed by China in 1949.
Ilham Mahmut, who heads an association of Uighurs and supporters in Japan said many Uighurs were still missing one year after the unrest.
However despite China's attempts to censor information from Xinjiang, he said news from the remote region was still reaching the outside world thanks to the Internet. " They are fretting justice is on our side and we will win for sure," he told demonstrators at the start of the rally.
Xinjiang's capital city Urumqi was torn in two on July 5, 2009 as the mainly Muslim Uighur minority vented decades of resentment of Chinese rule with attacks on members of China's dominant Han ethnic group.
Meanwhile, one year since China's worst ethnic violence in decades, the exiled leader of the Uighur minority has seen a surge of global interest in her cause but says the world can do far more.
Long an obscure issue to much of the world, the simmering resentment against Beijing's rule by the Uighur community burst into the open in July last year as riots engulfed Urumqi, capital of the vast Xinjiang region.
The violence catapulated into the spotlight Robiya Kadeer, a departmental store tycoon turned activist. The 63- year- old mother of 11 spent years in a Chinese prison before she was allowed to go into exile in the United States in 2005. " I'm just an ordinary woman, yet the Chinese government is so fearful of what I say and do. That shows I stand for justice." Kadeer, her booming voice softened by a smile, told AFP in her office in Washington.
Since Kadeer has packed crowds in Australia and Japan which both defied Chinese demands to refuse her entry.
She has been invited three times alone to France where she said there was little interest in the Uighurs before.
But despite a growing profile Kadeer said that world leaders have been too tepid in standing up to China.
Uighur Muslims have a rich heritage.
They have been struggling for freedom since 60 years. Since the beginning of freedom movement Chinese government has been inhumanly persecuting Uighur Muslims. It has deployed all its energies to quell the legitimate movement.
Though Uighur Muslims are minority, they are members of a brave nation. In the medieval age most of the famous Muslim rulers of Central Asia were from Uighur community. Uighur Muslims always think Turkistan their home. So they have been struggling for realising their longstanding demand. Though the Chinese government has contained them temporarily, there is doubt whether they will be able to contain them permanently. As for example The Russian government is failing to subdue Chechens permanently. Chechens' movement continues. Similarly the Chinese government will not be able to subdue Uighurs in the long run. Due to government atrocities Uighurs remain silent for time being. But their aspiration for Independence will never end. No one will be able to subdue them and foil their movement. So we notice that after some years their unrest takes place and spread throughout the Xinjiang region. This means that their movement is uncontrollable and it can never be thwarted.
Peace- loving people of the world urge the Chinese government to accept the freedom movement by Uighurs immediately. Because their movement is legitimate and longstanding. The Chinese government should realise their demand forthwith. Uighurs call the world community to put pressure on the Chinese government to stop repression on them and to concede their longstanding demand. US should come forward to put pressure on China to stop its repression on Uighur Muslims and to give them freedom. The Muslim world especially the OIC should take effective measure to mitigate the suffering of Uighur Muslims.
Uighurs are peace-loving people. They raise their voice against the government when they are inhumanly tortured. They want peaceful co-existence with their neighbours. Despite torture and repression carried out by the government Uighurs will continue their movement.
No legitimate movement and struggle can be uprooted by carrying out oppression and suppression. Uighurs indomitable aspiration for freedom can not be eliminated. One day China's repressive measure will boomerang and their freedom will be materialised.