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Uyghur leaders warn of more unrest following Beijing’s ‘strike hard’ campaign/ENG

2011. augusztus 22./Phayul.com/TibetPress

DHARAMSHALA, August, 22: The Chinese government has deployed around 200,000 security personnel in the troubled western region of Xinjiang following a new 'strike hard' campaign targeting Uyghurs in the region.

China’s state news agency, Xinhua, reported on Beijing’s decision to implement a fresh ‘strike hard’ campaign targeting "terrorism" and "Islamic extremism" in Xinjiang. This moves comes after last month’s clashes between unarmed Uyghurs and Chinese security personnel which left at least 20 Uyghurs dead in Hotan city.

A regional government website reported that the 'strike hard' campaign which began last Tuesday will go on till mid-October and will see the deployment of addition police force at trouble spots.

In July 2009, a year after widespread uprisings engulfed its southern neighbour Tibet, Xinjiang witnessed its worst ethnic unrest. Sources say that over 200 Uyghurs died in the unrest while many were later arrested and many disappeared.

Since then protests have erupted on a regular basis, demanding the release and whereabouts of the missing Uyghurs.

Uyghurs say that under Beijing’s rule and with the influx of Han Chinese migrants, they have long suffered ethnic discrimination, religious restrictions and economic marginalisation.

Rebiya Kadeer, head of exile Uyghurs speaking to reporters said that the ‘strike hard’ campaign failed to address the root cause of the recent unrests warning “it will only lead to an even stronger backlash”.

The Munich based World Uyghur Congress echoed similar fears.

"If the China Communist Party don't change their policies and desist from the 'strike hard' approach, then there will be a fresh wave of unrest in the region," said Dilxat Raxit, spokesman of the World Uyghur Congress.
By Tendar Tsering

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