Kadeer: 10,000 Uighurs Have Disappeared
During a press conference at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo, on Wednesday, Rebiya Kadeer, head of the pro-independence World Uyghur Congress, sought international support to urge Beijing to give full accounting of the deadly riots in its far west.
Kadeer is an exiled Uighur activist whose visit to Japan has already drawn fire from China,
As reported by Reuters, Kadeer insists that nearly 10,000 Uighurs involved in deadly riots in China’s northwestern Xinjiang region are missing.
China’s official death toll is reported to be 192, most of whom were Han Chinese, who form the majority of China’s population. Almost all the others were Uighurs, a Muslim people native to Xinjiang and culturally tied to Central Asia and Turkey.
Beijing has accused Kadeer of masterminding the bloody riots. Kadeer has denied the accusations and said she did not believe the official figures, insisting that China’s decades-long repression of the Uighur ethnic minority caused the unrest.
“The nearly 10,000 people who were at the protest, they disappeared from Urumqi in one night,” she said. “If they are dead, where are their bodies? If they are detained, where are they?”
The Economist stated that Turkey’s cultural, religious and ethnic links with Xinjiang and its Turkic-speaking Uighurs, make it difficult for leaders there to keep quiet. Turkey has long been a haven for disaffected Uighurs.
Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has suggested that the recent violence in Xinjiang’s capital Urumqi involved “genocide”.