1. Restriction of the Chinese Government regarding Media Distribution 2 . Oppression and Restrictions of the Chinese Government by Means of Administrative Work 3 . The Oppression of the Chinese Government in the Field of Education 4 . The Oppression of the Chinese Government in the Field of Media, Press and Publications 5 . The Oppression of the Chinese Government in the Field of International News Exchange and Internet Communications 6 . The Oppression of the Chinese Government in the Field of Religion 7 . Restrictions and Destruction in the Field of Historical and Cultural Inheritance. The state terror and the crimes committed by the Chinese aggressors in East Turkistan take many different forms.
The Chinese government is unjustly labelling our people as “terrorists”; accuses innocent people of political crimes and imprisons and tortures them; practices genocide; oppresses any free thought; arrests and executes thousands of innocent men of religion despite their having nothing to do with the current radical islamist groups; represses Islam and our over-a-thousand year old indigenous culture which we have always been protecting – but now the people are able to protect these in the name of Islam only secretly. But the oppression by the Chinese government on a large scale, against the idea of independence and our struggle for independence which has been rooted in our people since long ago is increasing every day. An example of this is that Imams are controlled in their convictions and although they have nothing to do with politics, they are forced to give fatwas in conformity with Chinese interests.
The country has been turned into an open‑air prison of more than 1.850.000 m² for the over 20 million people living in these regions for more than thousand years and who have nothing in common with the Chinese regarding their lifestyle, origins, culture and religion: the Arısachk, Tohar, Iftalıt, Turan, Hun, Turk, Soghdi, Oghuz and Uyghur. The freedom and rights of these people are being limited and they are being subjected to Chinese torture, which has no like in the world. We will inform about the project of extermination of a people with a different historical background, different language, different geographical location, different ethics, different religion and a different culture in sections on media distribution, press and news exchange, information exchange, general education, social rights and language.
1) Restriction of the Chinese Government regarding Media
Distribution With a decree from 1 September 2002 and the decision to “eradicate the roots”, practices like burning of books on a massive scale and the removal of the Uyghur language as a teaching language from the University have been carried out. On 31st October 2002, a meeting of high ranking state officials and administrative officials took place in Urumchi, the capital of East Turkistan, and actions to be taken in the ideological field were presented and it was discussed what kind of policy and repression could be applied against the protests and actions of the population they had made against the injustices imposed upon them.
At his gathering, Wang Lequan, known among the people as “The Executioner” held a speech in which he stressed that the main point of that gathering was to discuss how the publication of every kind of newspaper, magazine, book and printing houses could be tightly controlled, and ordered that people struggling for freedom by means of media institutions, radio, television and similar regional media institutions could be severely harmed and ordered that this be carried out even at the cost of mistakenly striking thousands of innocent people and institutions, but not to let a single suspect escape.
Since March 2002, there has been an increase in the operations carried out in “the field of ideological educational seminars” in order to “fight against the struggle for independence”.
As a result, the Uyghur language, it history, culture and literature have been subject to restrictions ever since. Many valuable works like the “Risala on Handcraft”, “The Uyghurs”, “The History of the Huns”, “History of Uyghur Literature”, “The Uyghur Khanate of Saidiyya”, “Hard to be a Peasant”, “Awakened Homeland”, “The Gift”, “The Sand-Covered City”, “Greeting from a Foreign Homeland to the Mother Homeland” were placed under prohibition along with essays of famous writers on independence, any VCR or DVD film material and pictures which in any way expressed the struggle for independence. Homes of the people were raided and such material confiscated and then burned publicly before the eyes of the people. These operations took place in the Urumchi, Guldja, Altai, Artush, Kashgar and Hotan regions and books, tapes and other media on religion, philosophy, culture and works of literature amounting to a million in number were confiscated and burned publicly.
Thousands of people who had protected such material secretly in their homes were labelled “Islamic terrorists” or “nationalist separatists” and either heavily fined or sentenced to prison. The information presented here rests on information supplied to the East Turkistan Information Centre and much of it has been released also by the Chinese central news agency.
In a news-release on www.tianshannet.com on 24 March 2002 it is reported that the Chinese government, in its efforts “to eradicate nationalist separatists” had investigated seven dossiers, tortured 377 people and sentenced 9115 people to prison. The same site reported on 31 May 2002 that during the continuing “heavy strikes” of the Chinese government 20 independence organisations, more than 100 independence fighters, 6000 items of ammunition, 140 arms, 10 explosives were discovered and over 500 mosques closed.
Additionally three religious books on Islam (books of great spiritual value) were burned. Dossiers of 40.000 criminal records were examined and more than 40.000 people punished.
We have not yet been able to verify these official statistics released by the Chinese government. However, we are able to detect, from the news that three religious books on Islam were burned, just how much the Chinese state terrorism is concealed from world media and world public opinion.
Recently, the publication of 54 newspapers and magazines was stopped, 20 bestseller magazines, among them “World Literature”, “The Spring” and “Inheritance” were forced to limit their circulation and sack editors and workers who had been working hard in this sector for long years. The burning of our spiritual wealth is a step in the declared intention to turn our children into Chinese and the take-over of all affairs by Chinese.
2) Oppression and Restrictions of the Chinese Government by Means of Administrative Work
In the following we will quote information from the East Turkistan Information Centre, from our reporters inside East Turkistan and news published by the Chinese media regarding human rights and related issues. According to the news supplied by a correspondent of our newspaper “The Spark”, the Chinese government is striking our independence movements heavily since April 2002. The central Chinese government and the police directorate of East Turkistan organised a propaganda meeting in the Library of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in which the independence fight of our people was labelled as “terrorism”, “nationalist separatism” and “a danger to national integrity”.
The Chinese government forced all school staff and students, all workers unions and commerce chambers, and all personnel of state administration and private institutions to attend this propaganda meeting and to express their thoughts and their rejection of all independence efforts.
According to the information supplied by our reporter, over 400 new photographs were shown which showed our ghazis and shuhada who had fought for our independence in fights with Chinese police, scenes of mass execution by the Chinese military police, fighters being led to execution and execution scenes – all these were displayed before the people of the capital.
According to the news of our reporter Timur Choki from inside the country on 28 March 2002, newspapers, magazines and books in the Uyghur language were collected in Urumchi and burned in the waste burning facilities. Since that day, the enforced burning of books, magazines and newspapers in the Uyghur language has spread like itself was an uncontrolled fire.
According to the news in the Chinese edition of the “Kashgar Newspaper”, the Chinese government gathered all mayors and village leaders of 12 towns and villages in the Kashgar region and announced that a first phase of strikes against “islamic terror” and “nationalist separatists” had been a success and that on that day a second phase of strikes would be officially initiated. Then a collection of 42.320 items of newspapers, magazines, books and different recording media was burned.
According to news supplied by our reporter Yorunkash, the police has, in order to comply with the command to carry out a “strike”, searched every house in the two villages of Chira and Kiriye in the Hotan region and confiscated books and arrested those who resisted.
Thus, the oppressive Chinese government is becoming more and more aggressive in East Turkistan each day. According to news of the East Turkistan Information Centre, the “Kashgar Newspaper” reported on 4 July 2002, that a group of over 60 specially communist school educated people were rallying through towns and villages like Yopurga and Mekit and were gathering state officials, teachers and students on a daily basis and forcing them to adopt the politics of the central government, the subjects being “islamic terrorism”, “solidarity against nationalist separatists” and “protection of the integrity of the state”.
Further, villagers who under the difficult oppressive circumstances remain already without education are compelled to attend daily political conditioning. They were compelled to sign statements assuring that they repent for whatever mistakes they committed in the past in this regard and that they would denounce any elements suspect of nationalist separatism to the state officials.
In another news report the East Turkistan Information Centre was supplied with, similar information is contained. On 16 June 2002 the Chinese government gathered by force all the leading personnel of the radio and television of the Mekit area, of the directorate for education, of the muftis office within their campaign of elimination of people adhering to ideas of independence.
These people were repeatedly forced to gather under the lead of the Chinese communist party at meetings of solidarity against independence fighters and to organise denunciation of people suspected of adhering to such thoughts to state officials. Such practice of the Chinese government and its tremendous repression of the free thought of people is causing great unrest among the people in East Turkistan who are the true owners of those lands and is leading to tens of thousands of people being tortured in prisons and thousands of people being executed – thus, people are finding the Chinese communist regime and state ever more unbearable.
3) The Oppression of the Chinese Government in the Field of Education
During the 50 years of occupation of our homeland by the communist Chinese, the freedom and independence loving people of East Turkistan have been constantly subject to various forms of repression and have not been at peace even for a single day. The support of Amnesty International and the Human Rights Commission, the struggle of the courageous people of East Tukistan to lead their lands under occupation to freedom and to establish their own state, and actions of the people of East Turkistan directed against the oppression of the Chinese has caused anxiety with the communist Chinese government.
Therefore, the Chinese government has decided to settle Chinese people on a massive scale by force in East Turkistan in order to maintain control over these fertile lands forever. On the other hand, it has initiated a state terror directed towards the elimination of our language, our religion, our alphabet, our civilisation and culture and an inheritance of more than a thousand years common to all Turks.
In a newsreport supplied to the newspaper “The Spark” published by the East Turkistan Information Centre and released in issue 72, Chang Zhangxi, the responsible director for language and literature at the Chinese Ministry of Education visited the capital of East Turkistan on 18 March 2002. He ordered that education using the Chinese language in East Turkistan had to be increased at all primary and middle schools, at colleges, professional formation schools and universities and had to be brought to a further and more firm level and announced that poor students from both the cities and the countryside were being brought to central regions of China where they were taught in Chinese only under the direct supervision of the state.
He stated that there are at present around a 150 primary and middle schools in Urumchi where Chinese and Uyghur children were being taught together, the number of Uyghur children being 70.000. The people have expressed their strong objection to the compulsory obligation of Chinese as the teaching language at all Uyghur schools in all subjects, the transfer of Uyghur pupils to central parts of China and the change of language at the East Turkistan University to Chinese exclusively.
However, through certain laws and regulations dictated by the Chinese government, the children and students of East Turkistan have been left with no choice but to learn and study in Chinese.
These laws and regulations demand that people who do not know Chinese will not being admitted to schools or that those who refuse to learn it will be thrown out of schools, that people who do not know Chinese will not be admitted to professional formation schools and to universities, and that people who do not know Chinese are not allowed to be employed. These savage laws and rulings aim at the eradication of the identity, lifestyle, independence, religious beliefs and the mother language of the people of East Turkistan from their lifes and the subordination of the coming generation to the service of Chinese interests.
According to news supplied to the East Turkistan Information Centre, a gathering with all teaching personnel and students was held at the University of East Turkistan on 14 May 2002 where a decree was announced that from 1st September on the Uyghur language would be replaced with Chinese in all fields.
According to this news the prohibition of the Uyghur language and the replacement with Chinese is compulsory and any non-conformist action by anyone and any institution against this decree of the central Chinese government will be considered a crime.
The University of East Turkistan is the greatest University in East Turkistan in all branches of knowledge and sciences and has, using the mother language, produced thousands of professors, magistrates, engineers and other academics throughout its history who have been of great benefit to their societies and states.
Now, the Chinese government, under the pretext of “increasing the quality of national education” is pursuing a project of eradication of the Uyghur language and the turning of the young Uyghur generation into Chinese. In these days where strategic changes all over the world prevail, the Chinese government is constantly weakening the people spiritually and materially through assimilation regarding policy, social life, education, culture and religion, and increasing oppression and torture.
According to another news, a magazine published in East Turkistan in Chinese reports, “East Turkistan has been under Chinese central authority for 200 years now and under communist rule for 50 years. Why do these people despite this long time still want independence? The reason is that they continue to adhere to their language, culture and religion. And here lies our greatest mistake we made in the past.” It can also be detected from the orders of the Chinese governments Minister for East Turkistan, Wang Lequan, that Chinese will be compulsory from the 3rd class of primary schools on, how urgently they want to assimilate the Uyghurs.
On special orders – published in issue 127 / 2002 of the official newspaper – from Wang Lequan, leader of the East Turkistan regional government, hundreds of migrants were brought from Wang Lequans`s homeland, the Shandong area, 118 migrants were placed into Uyghur primary schools, and the others into secondary schools as teaching personnel for Chinese as part of a campaign titled “Contribution to National Education” which was presented to all organizations and institutions in East Turkistan by Wang Lequan as an “active aid campaign by the central government to peoples education in East Turkistan”.
However, if at the University of East Turkistan the teaching language Uyghur is entirely replaced by Chinese, how can one then speak of an “active aid to education in East Turkistan”? What is really intended is the wiping out of the Uyghur language.
We cannot endure the extinction or assimilation of our people or the erasion of our mother tongue under pressure and reprisals of the Chinese government. We will also refuse the Chinese governments claim that our homeland is an inseparable part of their state. We note the tragic indifference of the UN Culture Education committee, EU Culture Education committee and the international Human rights organisations and associations who should as soon as possible make research on the pressure applied by the Chinese government to our mother tongue.
The above mentioned organisations should, while they investigate why the Chinese government directs so much pressure on East Turkistan also note that the Faculty of Education in Kashgar has been a thorn in the flesh of the Chinese government because of its research under the title “Chinese Government and its Aggression”. During the arrests and slaughters practised by the Chinese in this sacred place of knowledge and education in the south of our country, the blood of hundreds of our daughters and sons has been shed. According to news supplied to the East Turkistan Information Centre, only in the First College of Hotan six members of the teaching staff – Tursun Jelalidin, Mehmet Emin, Erzat Abla, Muhtar Abdu Memet, Abdurahman Abdukerim, Ablet Nizamidin – were put under observation and then removed from their posts as being politically problematic and therefore dangerous elements.
These teachers were aged between 36 – 44 years and were experienced in service and were most loved by their students. Removing teachers from many schools in a similar fashion and for no reason, the cruel Wang Lequan is replacing them with migrants from his native district Shangdong. The Chinese government forcibly collects books, magazines, reports and research theses of great material and spiritual value in Uyghur language and has them burned.
Where else on the face of the earth can such disgrace be witnessed? The reason for many countries and international organisations and institutions like the UN, the USA, the EU and Japan in aiding East Turkistan in educational affairs was to support children of families in rural areas, whose economic situation was insufficient to study their mother tongue.
Unfortunately the Chinese government is using these funds for its own schools. If these funds had reached their true addressees, tens of thousands of children in East Turkistan could have enjoyed proper education – of course, this is not in the interest of the Chinese – on the contrary, they have become victims of Chinese oppression. Are we to thank the Chinese for these tragic events or are we rather to oppose the attacks on our language, historic culture, our religion, identity, dignity and existence as a nation?
World public opinion must support and aid the survival and revival of the indigenous culture and education of an innocent people who are being denied education in their proper language and who are still in this 21st century being executed and subjected to genocide by a regime known for its racist discrimination, which is inexplicably welcomed into world trade priveleges, and whose crimes go unchallenged. What greater terrorism exists in today’s world?
4) The Oppression of the Chinese Government in the Field of Media, Press and Publications
The Chinese Government has decided to place all radio and television broadcasting and publication of newspapers and magazines in East Turkistan under strict control in order to achieve its aims. This facilitated for them both the dissemination of false and invented news and the labelling of the populations struggle and fights for freedom and independence as ‚terrorism‘.
The Chinese Government has formed a special Task Force group which has by now been granted full powers to rewrite the history of East Turkistan. They now present Chinese aggression and oppression as justified operations, as well as the abasement of the social life of the population, the disturbance of the friendship among the different ethnic groups and creation of unrest between them, the imposition of birth rate control on the indigenous people and thus inhibition of their natural growth, the forcing of the people into a slavish relation towards the Chinese, the definition of struggle for freedom and religious worship as terrorism and the distancing of people from the noble Deen of Islam, the changing of the ideas of people through the selling of millions of books and cassettes by force and the use of the income from that for the financing of their further work, the forcing of peasants to participation in gatherings for brainwashing purposes at times when they are most occupied.
We want to present here summaries from two articles from the Kashgar Newspaper and the Xinjiang TV Newspaper. These two articles were written by two munafiqun who have sold their country and people, whose aim is to gain a rank and personal benefit, who at the same time try to fool the Chinese Government and who will be mentioned along with curses on the records of the history of their people and their country: „For some time now separatist forces within and outside the country have tried to split China and to establish an independent state of East Turkistan and have pursued terrorist activities while at the same time trying to rewrite the history of East Turkistan.
Along with this, they collaborate with outside forces and abuse the national sentiments of the people and propagate a radical religiousness, thus disturbing the relations between us and the elder people.“ How can a people who suffer great economic difficulty, who have to strive hard in order to earn their daily food and suffer malnutrition and other illnesses even among the children and the old, and who have no idea of the worlds modern weapons technology and who are incapable of enough force to save their very lives, how can these people embark upon a war against China which is ranked among the most powerful in the world? To embark on terrorist activities or war against China, it would be necessary to have sufficient economic means and personnel.
How then can China define us as terrorists? That is like accusing a baby in the cradle of thievery. It would be therefore a grave mistake if world public opinion were to submit to the false propaganda of China and imagine the natural resistance of our people as connected to extremist Islamic movements! We would advise the concerned international institutions and organisations to examine the situation in East Turkistan. As for the accusation of rewriting history, historians and academics know the facts.
Even if the several thousand years long history of our country was to be rewritten, the archaeological artefacts remain a proof for our history. In the last years some literature has been published which, instead of reflecting the history, life and culture of the Uyghur people base themselves on the fraudulent documentation produced by the Chinese for their own interest.
We regard this as a lack of respect and insist that the concerned institutions and organisations act decently in their researches. In these articles it also reads: “In opposition to the religious policy of the government and acting against the peace between ethnic groups, they have destroyed signboards encouraging birth control and replaced them with placards frowning upon the laws of the state, and brochures with similar content were disseminated.
They have organised prohibited religious activities and increased the number of members committed to them. Religious activities were held in schools. Always in cooperation with independent forces outside the country, they have, by way of radio and internet tried to encourage the people to independence and have labelled the people who disapproved of such activities as traitors and spies working for the Chinese state. … “ Since the 1930s, the Chinese Government has put restrictions on interior and exterior news communications so that their politics of aggression are not known and the population is not informed about what is happening in the world.
The anti‑frequency policy directed towards foreign radio broadcasts continues to this day. If we look at these more than 70 years and the criminal records in relation to foreign radio we find that death sentences, lifetime imprisonment, and death due to forced memory loss amounts to hundreds of thousands in number.
In a news published by the East Turkistan Radio and Television Newspaper from 4‑8 August, the director general of the state radio and television, Zhang Haitao said that the regions East Turkistan and Tibet were sympathetic towards the democratic ideas of countries like the USA and the EU. He said also, “in the 21st century, enemy forces beyond our frontiers make use of radio and television broadcasting and have disturbed the normal and peaceful lives of the people in East Turkistan.
The Chinese Communist Central Committee and the Office of Prime Minister have immediately put forth the work with the East Turkistan and Tibet Radio and Television. Until this day 300 million Yuen have been spent on anti‑frequency activities and the receiving of foreign broadcasters like FAR, BBC, FAV has become impossible within East Turkistan.” In history, many injustices have come to an end simply by the passing of time and justice has come to replace them, and the Uyghurs are a patient people who have a historical background, literature and culture.
We let the extremist Islamic currents know that we will not give up our centuries long civilisation, culture and identity as a people. The Islamic beliefs of the Uyghurs, their Islamic civilisation and the independence movement of the Uyghurs are not as labelled by the Chinese – we have no ties and no relations with extremist Islamic groups. That a few among our people, 20 million in number, may have mixed with extremists can not be blamed on the whole of our people – and besides, it was only due to the desire for the independence of their people and the desparate desire to escape the enormous oppression by the Chinese Government.
The only cause for there being any extremist thought among some of our people is the heavy oppression and injustice inflicted upon the people of East Turkistan by the Chinese Government.
This is what the people of the world must understand.
5) The Oppression of the Chinese Government in the Field of International News Exchange and Internet Communications
Since 2003 until this day, the Chinese Government has increased its control and intensified its harsh attitude towards the people of East Turkistan regarding the viewing and hearing of satellite TV and radio programs and information exchange using the Internet.
The Chinese Culture Ministry has issued an order on 4 March 2003 “to supervise temporarily the information exchange regarding cultural matters through the Internet” and this order has been put into practice since 1 July 2003 (tianshannet.com – order of the Minister of Culture, Shun Jiajing from 16 June 2003). As a result, all Internet-cafes in East Turkistan run by Uyghurs have been forced to close and those who refused have been heavily fined or their computer equipment confiscated.
Some people were arrested with the charge of being “terrorists” and “radical islamists”. This is, as we have informed in the past, directed towards the blaming of the beliefs of the Muslim people of East Turkistan. According to the news of the East Turkistan Information Centre, the Chinese Government is causing great difficulties to the already poor people of Khotan in East Turkistan by way of heavy fines. In the Official Newspaper of the Regional Khotan Government, Nr. 88 from the year 1998, a decree was issued which places the following under strict prohibition: “Whoever listens to foreign radio or watches foreign TV, reproduces foreign brodcast recordings, accepts copies of such recordings, whoever distributes documents or brochures containing religious information will be fined with 10.000 Yuen.
Whoever establishes contact to religious institutions outside the country by way of radio, Internet or telephone will be fined with 3.000 Yuen. Whoever provides the possibility for teaching the Qur’an either in their homes or in other places will be fined between 3.000 and 5.000 Yuen. It is prohibited for state officials, teachers and students to participate in any religious activity or adhere to any religious beliefs. School direction staff and teachers who allow teachers and students to perform prayers, to fast and other religious acts will be removed from their offices and fined.”
Thus, the state is trying to crush the population and drive them to political crimes. These kind of rulings are not only effective in the Khotan region but all over East Turkistan. So it is that the Internet which is already considered to be an important part of everyday activities all over the world is being used by the Chinese Government as a dangerous instrument to cause terror against the people of East Turkistan.
The Japanese newspaper “Asahi” published an article on 16 January that an American human rights delegation issued a report on 15 January 2003 titled “China and Human Rights” stating that the 45 year old Tang Haidung had been arrested in the capital of East Turkistan, Urumchi, because of an article he had published through the Internet and had been classified as an element harming the integrity of the state. In fact, Tang Haidung had been arrested already 9 July 2002. In order that the different forms of oppression and the project of race extinction which the Chinese Government is pursuing not be deciphered as such, this state Internet terror is being practised in East Turkistan.
According to the Chinese State Institute there are more than 250 websites in the Uyghur language in our country. Out of fear that the oppression, torture and genocide practised by the Chinese Government would be made known world-wide through these websites, they are shut down one by one on superficial pretexts. At the same time, filtering programs have been placed on the servers of Internet service providers to prevent the sending and receiving of e-mails and the visit of foreign websites.
Many young people are today being held in prison and tortured only on account of having visited foreign websites. Among those arrested are state officials, teachers, students, technical engineers and medical doctors. Further, it was announced that anyone who participated in Internet forums and discussion boards would be arrested as “radical islamist” or “terrorist”.
Whenever there was a political incident or some move related to independence in East Turkistan, all Internet sites would be temporarily shut down on some pretext. The Chinese Government is using various means in order to monitor Internet and telephone communications using high‑technology equipment imported from France and other countries to apply restrictions like filtering, interception and blocking of access.
The state intelligence service, the police and the military police have hacked their way into the servers of free e-mail service providers like hotmail and yahoo trying to detect those people from East Turkistan who use these services and trying to get hold of their usernames and passwords in order to monitor their e-mail traffic and get hold of other private information about them.
At the moment, the only available information via the Internet in East Turkistan consists of false information provided by China, monitored chatrooms, truncated documents and declarations of the communist government.
According to the news supplied to the East Turkistan Information Centre by a newsagency inside East Turkistan the regional East Turkistan intelligence service and general police department in cooperation with some eight state departments have closed down on 25 July 2003 all Internet services for two weeks and have undertaken a “virus removal operation” and have established free-of-charge phone numbers for the population to report viruses. Further, activities like the installation of hidden cameras and voice recorders, arresting of suspects for 24 hours and rewards for denunciations were put into practice.
On the pretext of a fire in an Internet-cafe in Peking in July 2002 an operation was put into action to regulate all Internet-cafes. Thus, the Chinese government is trying to prevent the Uyghur youth from exchanging information in Internet-cafes.
It is also trying to place a civilian policeman in each Internet-cafe in order to monitor who is visiting Internet-cafes and what kind of websites are visited. In summary, the Chinese aggressors are exiling the Uyghur people forcing them to become refugees in foreign countries. The harm inflicted on us is not mainly done by tearing out of our hands the wealth and minerals of our country but by tearing from us our language, culture, indigenous education and religious beliefs. Our people who oppose this are arrested, tortured and executed. China is concealing all the shameful actions it undertakes to extinguish a people while continuing to force them to live under most oppressive conditions.
6) The Oppression of the Chinese Government in the Field of Religion:
We had reported on earlier occasions that the Chinese aggressors use international operations against radical islamists as a pretext to continue their oppression of the people of East Turkistan in the fields of religion, race, education and culture in spite of the warnings of the UN, the EU and other international organisations and institutions, which carry no weight because devoid of any financial sanction.
Towards the end of 2002 and beginning of 2003, the individual rights and human rights violations committed against the people of East Turkistan and Tibet were evaluated by the UN, Amnesty International, the EU, the USA and other democratic states and one after the other criticized the Chinese state on account of its transgression in this regard. Correct words but devoid of political impact. The Chinese state is producing false reports and news and is trying to deceive world public opinion.
The Chinese news agency Xinhua released a report on 22 May 2003 in which the Chinese Human Rights Committee and the General Directorate for Religious Affairs responded together to the annual report of the American “International Coalition for Religious Freedom”.
In the news it was reported that the American “International Coalition for Religious Freedom” had presented documents about oppression of religious rights and that it criticized the Chinese state and demanded that such violations not be repeated.
Not long after this, the Secretary Generals of the Chinese General Directorate for Religious Affairs, Shamsuddin and Chen Guangyen prepared and presented a report to world public opinion that the members of Islam, Catholicism, Buddhism and Taoism were free to practice their religious beliefs and that there was no oppression in this regard.
As reported in the 75th issue of our newspaper “The Spark”, the Chinese Central Government placed a group of some 800 specially trained people in East Turkistan to control the religious activity there. On 25 August 2002, the Secretary General of the UN Commission on Human Rights, Mrs. Robertson had criticized with a harsh language the oppression regarding religious freedoms carried out against the people of East Turkistan on the pretext of the fight against international radical islamists and international terrorists and demanded that all activity in this regard had to be stopped.
‘Human rights’ policies have proved utterly powerless. Our human survival, not rights, is the issue. On 31 May 2002 the Chinese government released news on tianshannet.com that it had achieved a success in East Turkistan against “radical islamic forces” and “terrorists” and that Chinese police had discovered more than 20 illegal organisations, more than 100 members of such organisations, 6000 items of ammunition, 140 arms, 10 explosives and that some 500 mosques were closed and religious books collected and burned and that nearly 40.000 people were placed under surveillance.
One must however note that the news and reports about “terrorists” and organisations mentioned in this news of the Chinese government are made‑up and false news and reports to give the impression of parallelism to current terrorist activities of those days. In truth there have never been terrorist incidents in East Turkistan. These operations are nothing but attempts to cause suffering to the innocent people and to break their hearts. Soon after this, the spokesman of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Kong Quan announced to the media that a “East Turkistan Islamic Movement” had been identified and declared as an international terrorist organisation and thus presented such a claim before world public opinion, and that Chinese police had discovered another 44 terrorist groups (and this is pure suspicion – people who could not even have dreamt of the existence of such organisations were innocently placed under surveillance and those deemed most suspicious were made to suffer in prisons and some were even executed so that their families found themselves in a distressed state).
So it is that the activities of certain international institutions in favour of the Uyghur people do not benefit them but cause even more oppression.
That there is an “East Turkistan Islamic Movement” or that East Turkistan is part of other organisations is twisted information presented by the Chinese government to the world public opinion in a way that will be useful for themselves. If there were such organisations then there would be a different situation. On 23 May 2003 the Xinjiang News Agency reported that Chinese police had discovered and taken over military training camps north and south of the Tianshan Mountains and that 15 people being trained there were arrested.
Along with this news it was reported that many members of some religious organisation called “Bold State Hizbuttahrir”, of which no one had heard so far and nobody knew of, had been arrested and that this organisation had been about to embark upon activities all over East Turkistan very soon. But they did not state what the aims of this organisation were and what its story was and no details about it were given by the state. What we know is that there has never been such an organisation among the Uyghurs. And although the international organisations also do not know about this organisation and know it is a fake one, this does not stop the Chinese government from making it a pretext for arresting alone in the Hotan region around 700 young men and torturing them in prisons.
According to the decree mentioned in Part 5 which is in practice in the Hotan region, “whoever has the Qur’an taught in his home; state officials, teachers and students engaging in religious activities, like performing prayers or fasting will be heavily fined or imprisoned according to the extent of their crime”. The tens of thousands of our brothers arrested in a “cleansing operation” during April 2001 are nothing but young men and women who simply could not bear the oppression of the Chinese state anymore and none of them is a member of an organisation outside the country nor represents such a one. Since the year 2000 it has been made an obligation to display the communist Chinese flag at every Eid-salat in Urumchi.
This is a case rarely to be encountered over the world that the state flag is displayed at religious ceremonies by force. The Chinese who see this laugh about it but the Muslim population hate it. On 12 May 2002 there was a bloody fight between the people and state officials in a primary school of the town Kostagh in the Hotan district. On that day, Nimet Abdurrashid, a 22‑year old teacher who had been removed from office on the pretext of having performed religious acts at the school, had come to complain to the state official who had denounced him. The Chinese government took this incident as an excuse and raided all schools in the Hotan region forcing denunciation of teachers who had performed religious acts. About 1500 suspected teachers and students both male and female were arrested and 10 of them were sentenced to death and executed immediately afterwards.
According to news of the Kirgiz News Agency from 23 May 2002, Memet Sadik and Memet Yasin were handed over to China on demand from the Chinese government as “international islamist terrorists”. On 19 May 2002, 300 people who had attended a funeral prayer which was held outside the mosque because there had not been enough space in the mosque, were fined with different sums because the prayer was held next to a primary school. The imam who lead the funeral prayer, Jelil Mahsuma was fined with 2500 Yuen and Aziz Mahsuma with 2000 Yuen and another 23 people each with 2000 Yuen.
Since 24 April 2002 in all the Hotan region, a general prohibition to recite Qur’an at weddings and circumcision feasts was declared and announced that everybody participating on these events would be fined. It is further generally prohibited that anyone under the age of 18 participates in religious acts whatsoever.
7) Restrictions and Destruction in the Field of Historical and Cultural Inheritance
According to news supplied to the East Turkistan Information Centre, the aggressive Chinese government is using every means to weaken the feelings of identity of the Uyghur people and their religious beliefs. Aimed at that purpose, historical monuments, witnesses of a great civilisation from the period when the Uyghurs accepted Islam, are being destroyed and at the same time monuments of the Buddhist religion are being restored.
The Central Bank of China is aiding this program with money and makes investments related to this activity. As reported by the Xinjiang News Agency, investments were made on 19, 21, 24 and 25 July 2003 in order to carry out construction works as to the above mentioned purpose in the Regions Börtala, Kutubi, Sanji, Manas, Kuchar, Altai, Balghuntai, Jeminey and Hotan in East Turkistan. The real aim of the Chinese government, who presents this project as “Restoration of Historical Monuments” is of course to destroy monuments that remind the people of Islam and to replace them with monuments related to the history of and typical to Central China.
Thus, the aggressive Chinese government is intending to deceive the world media and world public opinion and presents East Turkistan as always having been part of Chinese territory. According to a report from the Xinjian News Agency from 21 July 2003, the abundance of historical monuments in our country is drawing the attention of historians and archaeologists worldwide. There are more than 4000 historical sites in East Turkistan and 41 of them have been classified of first level importance by the state, 303 of second, and 1500 of third level importance.
The number of historical artefacts displayed in museums in various regions amounts to more than 230.000 and the oldest of them are 15 to 20 thousand years old while the others are evidence from the last 1000 years. We could describe the total of these artefacts as the greatest historical museum of the worlds Turks in Asia. Kashgar is one of the historical cities of our country and it has been the capital of the Hun Empire, the Great Uyghur-Kökturk Empire, the Uyghur Empire, the Uyghur Idikut Empiere, the Uyghur Karahan Empire, the Uyghur Kashgariya Kingdom and the Republic of East Turkistan and is one of the cities in which the historical and cultural inheritance of the Uyghur continues to be preserved in our days. Kashgar, with its Uyghur culture, handcrafts, agricultural methods, trade and as a place of gathering ethnic activities of many people is catching the attention of millions of tourists from within and outside China and has become a focal point for research by famous historians and archaeologists.
The aggressive Chinese government is destroying the preciousness of regions like Guldja, Börtala, Chöchek, Kumul, Turfan, Korla, Kuchar, Aksu, Atrush, Yarkent, Yenihisar and Hotan in order to settle Chinese migrants there thus causing the loss of historical sites and artefacts, witnesses to our peoples and religions history.
With the independence of our Turkish brothers in 1991, one after the other, China has begun to take measures so that the example of these countries is not repeated in East Turkistan and in order to exploit and transfer the mineral riches of the country into its own territory: the investments and the technological development was increased and so was the ferocity of the injustices inflicted upon the people of East Turkistan. An example of this is the extension of the railway which formerly ended in Korla until Kashgar and the construction of a motorway through the Taklamakan Desert to be able to exploit the petrol reserves faster and on a greater scale. Further, the transfer of Chinese from rural areas is adding to the destruction of historic sites and furthers assimilation.
Since 1990, the Chinese government has driven the Uyghur population of Kashgar from their residential quarters in Kashgar and forced them outside the city on pretexts like “cleansing from radical Islamic forces”, “eradication of nationalist separatists” and has at the same time implanted the “Chinese Liberation Army”, “Steel Forces” and “Armed Police Forces” in its aim of preventing innocent people from practising their religion, prohibiting them religious practices and to drive them away from Islam.
Two years ago, the Chinese aggressors have used the pretext of road construction necessities to destroy a graveyard next to the river Tümen in Kashgar where Uyghur heroes and the Sultan of the Uyghur Karahan Kingdom and the famous Shahid Arslanhan were buried, and constructed a road for Chinese migrants, and further destroyed historical buildings in the zone replacing them with Buddhist temples and buildings indicating Chinese culture.
The name of the river, for more than a thousand years known as “Tümen” was changed into “Donghu”. Eskishehir, centre of an Uyghur-Hun Empire two thousand years ago was completely erased from the surface of the earth and in its place residential areas for Chinese migrants were constructed and the name Eskishehir was changed into “Benchan”. This was a great loss also in terms of historical and archaeological research. Of course, these destructions have one main purpose, which is the destruction of the people of East Turkistan and to prove that these lands belong to China.
The people in East Turkistan are being arrested, tortured and made to suffer for years in Chinese prisons only on account of their desire to live out their Deen – and also anybody expressing demands of freedom or democracy is being executed without mercy. The assimilation policy of China prohibits the Uyghur, who constitute the majority of the population in East Turkistan to speak their language and to cultivate their culture.
The examples and news we have presented here, are news and information which we have been supplied with under the most difficult circumstances – they only reflect a portion of the present day realities in East Turkistan and the people of East Turkistan know this and the world public opinion is not unaware of it. (By Korash Atahan)