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CHINA. FIVE UYGHURS KILLED IN RAID IN URUMCHI

July 10, 2008: According to Chinese state media reports, five Uyghurs were shot to death by police in Urumchi, the regional capital of East Turkistan (also known as Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region) on July 9. The Xinhua News Agency reported that the five were members of a 15-member criminal gang, including five women and 10 men, that had trained for “holy war” and had wielded knives, injuring one policeman, during the raid. Two other Uyghurs were said to have been injured in the raid.
Xinhua also reported that three men in the group had been implicated in a recent stabbing at a beauty salon in Urumchi.
No independent sources have verified the official version of events. In addition, the Chinese-language Xinhua report of the incident made no mention of the "holy war" training or intent to harm Han Chinese people that were included in the English-language Xinhua report. In recent months, as the Beijing Olympic Games have drawn closer, officials in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) have intensified the persecution of Uyghurs in East Turkistan, while simultaneously ratcheting up claims of Uyghur terrorism and religious extremism.
The Uyghur American Association (UAA) has learned of unofficial accounts of the Urumchi raid that are at odds with the official version of events. According to these accounts, the 15 young Uyghurs were not religious extremists, and were merely gathered peacefully in an apartment in the Chen Guang residential area of Urumchi. After police used teargas on the premises and entered the location without any warning or call to surrender, the unarmed young men and women fled the house into an open field, where police fired at them with machine guns.
“We are unequivocally opposed to any kind of violence, and we can see from recent history that PRC authorities do not hesitate to use violence on their own citizens, especially Uyghurs and Tibetans,” said human rights leader and Uyghur American Association president Rebiya Kadeer. “The experience of Uyghurs has shown that the Beijing regime is prone to manipulating threats of religious extremism and terrorism in order to crack down on peaceful dissent. Therefore, we must evaluate allegations such as these with extreme caution.”
Official media reports have asserted that Chinese police found no firearms or explosives in the apartment, but found a number of knives. However, it should be noted that traditional Uyghur knives can be found in almost every Uyghur residence, and that knives are commonly kept for cultural and traditional purposes, without any intent to harm others.
UAA calls upon the PRC government to provide evidence to the international community regarding its allegations of the criminal nature of the 15 Uyghurs, and to ensure that any criminal proceedings carried out with regard to the ten surviving Uyghurs are held in a free and fair court, in accordance with international legal norms. UAA also urges the international community to ask Beijing to provide a full accounting of the raid, and more broadly to cease the intense persecution of Uyghurs in the name of terrorism, religious extremism, and related charges on the eve of the Olympic Games. (Sources: Uyghur American Association, 10/07/2008)

OVER 90% OF UZBEKS SUPPORT ABOLITION OF DEATH PENALTY – POLL
IRAQ. MECACCI AND PERDUCA: SEND A FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMISSION DELEGATION TO VISIT TAREQ AZIZ
PAKISTAN. ZULFIQAR ALI SHAH WAS HANGED
CHINA EXECUTES 10 FOR MURDER, ROBBERY AND DRUGS
CHINA DETAINS 82 'TERRORISTS' TARGETING OLYMPICS
INDONESIAN EXECUTED FOR 42 MURDERS
EP. RESOLUTION IN FAVOUR OF TROY DAVIS ADOPTED
CHINA. NO DEATH PENALTY HANDED DOWN SO FAR OVER LHASA VIOLENCE
NIGERIA. HOUSE INSISTS ON CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
CHINA. TWO UYGHURS EXECUTED IN KASHGAR AFTER MASS SENTENCING RALLY
IRAN URGED TO HALT EXECUTIONS OF JUVENILE CRIMINALS
IRAN. MULLAHS STATION FORCES IN PARKS TO FURTHER CRACKDOWN ON WOMEN
IRAQ. PANNELLA, HUNGER STRIKE AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY FOR TAREQ AZIZ
IRAN EXECUTES MAN FOR DRUG SMUGGLING IN SOUTHEASTERN PROVINCE
PAKISTAN. SC ASKS GOVT TO EXPLAIN POSITION ON COMMUTING DEATH PENALTIES
PAKISTAN. LAW MINISTRY OPPOSED COMMUTATION OF DEATH PENALTIES
IRAQ. CAPITAL PUNISHMENT OPPOSED IN KURDISTAN REGION
PAKISTAN. CABINET APPROVES CONVERSION OF DEATH PENALTY INTO LIFE TERM
EP. CAPPATO AND PANNELLA ASK FOR THE SUSPENSION OF TROY DAVIS’ DEATH SENTENCE
IRAN HANGS THREE FOR MURDER
IRAN MULLS DEATH PENALTY FOR INTERNET CRIMES
CALIFORNIA DEATH PENALTY SYSTEM 'DYSFUNCTIONAL': REPORT
MALAYSIA. NINE DEATH SENTENCES COMMUTED
IRAN HANGS TEENAGE MURDERER

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