Rights groups, Uighur diaspora demand truth in Xinjiang violence

Despite harsh restrictions on media and Internet in the western Chinese province of Xinjiang, wire services report continuing clashes between Han and Uighur residents of Urumqi in the wake of violence July 5 that left some 150 dead. Riot police used tear gas to disperse mobs armed with pipes and sticks. Han youth chanting “defend the country” attempted to invade Uighur neighborhoods, seeking retribution for the previous day’s violence. In Hong Kong, Human Rights Watch Asia researcher Phelim Kine said the Chinese government needs to bring in an “international investigator from the United Nations to try to determine what exactly happened on Sunday and what were the reasons for it.” (NY Daily News, BBC News, VOA, July 7)

Uighur expatriates held protests outside the Chinese embassies in Turkey and Norway July 7, hurling eggs and briefly scuffling with police in Ankara, as the Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned the embassy’s charge d’affairs to demand “information on the events and to convey Turkey’s sensitivity and concern” about the violence in Urumqi. Some 100 protesters who gathered outside the Chinese consulate in Istanbul set a Chinese flag on fire. Two people were injured and 11 arrested at the Oslo protest as they attempted to break through police lines to enter the embassy grounds. In Germany, police said fire bombs were thrown at the Chinese consulate in Munich, causing minor damage to the facade and setting fire to a Chinese flag. (AP, July 7)

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