The exiled leader of China's Uighur minority group has sharply
criticized the Chinese government and called for an independent
investigation into recent unrest in Xinjiang. Rebiya Kadeer is in Tokyo
to seek support for the mainly Muslim community.
described a scene of chaos and bloodshed on the night of July 5 -
clashes with police and a barrage of gunshots throughout Urumqi, the
capital of Xinjiang.
The head of the World Uighur Congress
told Japanese journalists Wednesday that Chinese officials watched it
all unfold and never stepped in to calm tensions.
She says that
China claims 190 people died that day but she does not believe that.
She says 10,000 people vanished overnight. "If they were killed
where are the bodies? If they were taken away, where are they now?" she asked.
The violence began July 5 as Uighurs protested the way police had handled attacks on a Uighur workers in southeastern China.
A few days later, members of China's dominant Han ethnic group rampaged through Uighur neighborhoods in retaliation.
the fifth, Kadeer says Chinese police have gone door to door to seek
out and detain Uighur men without cause. She worries about how much
longer that will continue. She is visiting Japan to draw attention to
that problem and seek help from the government.
She asks the
Japanese government to begin its own investigation into the riots and
search for the 10,000 missing. She also asked government leaders
to pressure the United Nations to conduct an independent investigation.
accuses Kadeer, who now lives in the United States, of masterminding
the unrest. The Beijing government criticized Japan for allowing the
exiled leader to visit, calling her a "criminal." Kadeer denies any
involvement in the clashes and says the tension can only be resolved by
direct talks between Beijing and Uighur leaders.
who make up about half of the population of Xinjiang in northwestern
China, complain of discrimination and say the government limits their
religious practices. The Chinese government, however, says the Uighurs
receive benefits that the Han do not, such as the right to have more
children, and says Uighur dissidents want to create a separate nation