Xinjiang: kids wounded as police raid “illegal” Islamic school

Chinese state media say 17, including 12 children, were wounded in an explosion at an “illegal” Islamic school in Hotan, a city in restive Xinjiang province June 6. Official sources say staff at the school set off explosives when police came to “rescue” children who were being held at the school, after receiving complaints from parents. Dilxat Raxit of the German-based World Uyghur Congress, however, said the children were hurt when police used tear gas in the raid. (AP, China Daily, June 6)

The raid follows the recent death of an 11-year-old Uighur boy in police custody in Korla after police cracked down on an “illegal” religious study group he had attended. An unnamed Xinjiang “netizen” was reportedly detained by authorities for “spreading rumors” about the boy’s death—which authorities have apparently not officially acknowledged. (Uyghur American Association, World Uyghur Congress, June 6)

On the day of new raid, nine Uighurs were ordered imprisoned in Xinjiang for “inciting separatism and disturbing public order” by harboring “extremist religious thoughts” and holding “underground religious meetings.” Dilxat Raxit protested: “The court verdicts were reached without any fundamental legal procedures and were a result of the political needs of China.” He added: “China is using heavy sentences to persecute and completely deprive the rights of legal defence and appeal of the defendants.” (AFP, June 6)

See our last posts on China and the Uighur struggle.

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