|Turkic descent Muslim Uighur men pray at 568-year-old Id Kah mosque in Kashgar(File photo - Sept. 28, 2001) |
Two U.S.-based human rights groups have accused China of using anti-terrorism laws to clamp down on some eight million Muslim Uighurs in the western region of Xinjiang.
Human Rights Watch and Human Rights in China released a report Tuesday saying China is suppressing Islam in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, as a way of controlling Uighur nationalism.
Beijing says it is fighting a separatist movement in Xinjiang that engages in terrorism.
But the rights groups' report dismisses the government's claims, saying Uighurs face harassment, arrest, torture and even execution for practicing their religion.
Human Rights Watch says the report is based on previously undisclosed Communist Party and government documents, as well as local regulations, official newspaper accounts, and interviews conducted in Xinjiang.
Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.