News / Asia

Chinese Media Call for 'United Front Against Terror' Following Arrests

Police officers set up barriers in front of the giant portrait of the late Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong as they clean up after a car accident at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, Oct. 28, 2013.
Police officers set up barriers in front of the giant portrait of the late Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong as they clean up after a car accident at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, Oct. 28, 2013.
Chinese state media on Thursday blamed Muslim minority Uighurs for a "terrorist attack" in which a car was driven through a crowd of people at Tiananmen Square.

Beijing says the deadly Monday crash was a suicide mission planned by religious extremists from the troubled northwest region of Xinjiang, where Uighurs have long complained of government persecution.

Police say they believe Usmen Hasan crashed a vehicle carrying his mother and wife into a crowd of people in the square, before lighting the car on fire. All three died at the scene, as did two tourists. Dozens were wounded.

Officials say they found gasoline, knives, steel sticks and a flag with extremist religious content inside the burnt-out vehicle. They also arrested five people from Xinjiang, who were said to be planning attacks with Hasan.

While police did not specify the ethnicity of the attackers, the Communist Party-controlled Global Times said Thursday all those involved were Uighurs. The paper called for a "unified front against terrorism," and warned Uighurs will be the "biggest victims" of the attack.

Some fear the incident could be used to justify further restrictions on the Uighur community, and question key aspects of the government's investigation.

Dolkun Isa, the executive chairman of the World Uyghur Congress, tells VOA he finds it inconceivable a family would work together on such a barbaric attack.

"If this is really a suicide and terrorist activity, how is it possible that someone could do this together with their mother and wife? It's impossible," he said.

The Germany-based activist also wants to know how investigators were able to find such specific evidence of religious propaganda in a car that pictures showed was fully engulfed in flames.

"If the all the car is burning, how could they recognize in the car some material that belongs to religious extremists?" he asks.

The World Uyghur Congress does not deny Uighur individuals sometimes engage in violence, out of what it calls desperation. But, contrary to Beijing's claims, it says there is no organized resistance against Chinese rule.

The group also says Beijing intentionally exaggerates this threat in order to further its repression of Uighurs. Dolkun Isa says this has already begun to happen in the wake of the Monday incident, with an increased security presence reported there.

China has defended its policies in Xinjiang, saying it is waging a campaign against separatists who are trying to form a separate nation called East Turkestan. It denies mistreating Uighurs, who it says are are guaranteed wide-ranging religious and cultural freedoms and are benefiting from urban development.

Clashes in Xinjiang are not uncommon between Uighurs and the Han Chinese majority or members of the government security forces. Beijing says over 200 people have been killed in such attacks in recent years. But this is the first time Chinese authorities have blamed Uighurs for a major incident in Beijing.

You May Like

Tunnel Bombs Highlight Savagery of Aleppo Fight

Rebels have used tunneling tactic near government buildings, command posts or supply routes to set off explosives; they detonated their largest bomb this week under Syria's intelligence headquarters More

Sierra Leone Launches New Initiative to Stop Ebola Spread

Government hopes Infection and Prevention Control Units, IPC, will help protect patients and healthcare workers More

UN Official: Fight Against Terrorism Must Not Violate Human Rights

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says efforts by states to combat terrorism are resulting in large scale rights violations against the very citizens they claim to defend More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mehmet from: Usa
October 31, 2013 10:12 AM
This is ultimate cry of one nation by sacrificing their life for very basic rights as communist Chinese government did not leave them any space to live with their own identity
In Response

by: Anonymous
November 03, 2013 6:06 PM
Nonsense! you are singing songs for the terrorists. you don't see them killing innocent passengers on the street? What are the terrorists?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boyi
X
Jeff Seldin
March 05, 2015 2:36 AM
A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More