Uyghur American Association calls for responsible commentary on the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
  • Mon, 03/10/2014 - 18:41

For immediate release
March 10, 2014, 5:15pm EST
Contact: Uyghur Human Rights Project

The Uyghur American Association (UAA) is concerned about recent speculation over alleged Uyghur involvement in the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. In the absence of detailed information regarding the fate of the Beijing bound plane, some analysts and media outlets have supposed a connection to allegedly radicalized Uyghurs; examples of such speculation can be found in British tabloid, The Daily Mirror, assertions from University of Adelaide professor, Felix Patrikeeff in the Sydney based Daily Telegraph and a commentary piece in the American Thinker. At present, there is no publicly available evidence to support a Uyghur connection hypothesis and UAA urges commentators to await the results of a full investigation into the incident.

Speculation on the missing Malaysian airliner or even sensationalizing it without hard evidence only aggravates the pain and suffering of the loved ones whose relatives were on board. UAA mourns what appears to be the loss of 239 lives including, celebrated Uyghur artist, Memetjan Abla. Mr. Abla’s work is considered an important contribution to Uyghur cultural life and his disappearance saddens the Uyghur community worldwide. Memetjan Abla was traveling as part of a Chinese state sponsored group of 29 artists. Conjecture alleging Mr. Abla’s presence on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 as evidence of possible Uyghur involvement in the plane’s fate is a disservice to his life and work.

At a time of heightened tensions involving the Uyghur people in China, theories lacking supporting evidence of a Uyghur link to the cause of Flight 370’s disappearance could exacerbate inter-ethnic friction. UAA asks for responsible commentary from all observers until the final outcome of the ongoing investigation.