Chinese authorities have released the photos and names of 15 suspects
allegedly involved in this month's unrest in Xinjiang. Meanwhile,
China is disputing exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer's claim that
10,000 people are missing.
In an announcement read on
state-run television in China, Xinjiang's public security bureau in
Urumqi urged the 15 suspects to turn themselves in, even providing them
with a telephone number to call.
The announcement said that
those who turn themselves within the next 10 days would be tried with
leniency. Those who do not, it added, would face severe punishment.
also released the names and photos of 40 individuals who have already
been arrested for their alleged involvement in the riots, which
officials say left nearly 200 people dead.
The release of the
names and photos comes a day after exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer
claimed as many as 10,000 people are missing in the wake of the unrest
Kadeer made her remarks during a visit to Japan,
where she called for an international probe into the incident and urged
China to hold talks with her group, the World Uighur Congress.
China has not responded to the request for talks.
But Chinese officials, quoted in government media, say Kadeer's claim 10,000 people are missing is groundless.
Rights Watch Asia researcher Phelim Kine says the discrepancy in
numbers is why his group is calling for the Chinese government to allow
an independent U.N. investigation into the incident.
sides, the Chinese narrative and the narrative of the overseas Uighur
groups, they lack independent verifiable documentation, so we really do
not know, there is key data and key information about what really
happened on July 5," said Kine.
Chinese authorities say in
addition to those killed, more than 1,600 were injured in the unrest.
Late Wednesday, authorities in Xinjiang said that 235 more suspects
have been arrested, raising the official number of those in custody
following the riots to more than 1,400.
The Uighurs make up
about half the population of Xinjiang region, in northwestern China.
They are mostly Muslims and are ethnically similar to communities in
Central Asia. They have long complained the Beijing government
discriminates against them and restricts their religious practices.
The government says there is a Uighur separatist insurgency in Xinjiang, and rejects complaints of discrimination.