A witness in Urumqi, Xinjiang province of China has reported that Chinese soldiers shot Uighur protesters on Sunday, causing many deaths and injuries. They said that dead bodies were seen being put into military vehicles.
Uighurs were protesting peacefully in the northwestern Chinese city of Urumqi after an incident in a toy factory in Shaoguan City, Guangdong Province a week ago. Allegedly, a fight broke out in the factory between several hundred Uighur and Han Chinese workers after a rape. Apparently there were 118 wounded and two female Uighur workers killed in the fight. All Uighur workers were fired following the incident—causing protests to build in Urumqi, according to state media.
Dilxat Raxit, a spokesman for the pro-independence World Uighur Congress, headquartered in Munich, Germany, relayed information from eye witnesses to the event. The witnesses said that 50 military vehicles had entered Urumqi.
Another witness in Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang region, said he kept hearing shouts and wailing from the shot and beaten protesters. The witness estimated that over 100 protesters had been arrested. The suburban area of Urumqi had been cordoned off. Several hours later, martial law went into effect in the urban area. The witness added that armed police would arrest any Uighur on the streets of Urumqi.
The protesters were demanding Uighur workers who had been arrested on June 26 be released and the real culprits be brought to justice. According to the World Uighur Congress, the Chinese authorities sent for a large police force to suppress the protest. It is alleged that the local authorities had ordered all local businesses to close for three days.
Another witness said that a military tank had entered his residential area and that tanks had entered the market area of Erdaoqiao, one of the protest locations. The witness said the streets are chaotic.
Another witness saw several taxis vandalized and heard police car sirens. The witness said more than 20 people had died during the riot and large palls of black smoke rose from the direction of Erdaoqiao. He said there were many explosions in Erdaoqiao.
Xinjiang TV had allegedly broadcast news to forbid any Uighur from leaving their homes or “face the consequences.” Military vehicles had entered Kashi City as well as Ili.
Dilxat Raxit from the World Uigher Congress said, “What happened in Shaoquan on June 26 must have been manipulated by the Chinese Communist regime and been executed by the civilians with the agenda of genocide of Uighur people. It was an organized, premeditated, and systematic event.”
Judging from the online videos of the protests, all the Han people attacking Uighurs were using the exact same rod as weapons—the two ethnic groups are traditionally at odds with each other.
According to a witness, there were unidentified people distributing rods as weapons, but the Chinese police didn’t stop the distribution nor the people from attacking Uighurs with the rods. Instead, the police were seen to assist the Han people in attacking Uighurs. The witness said that half of the injured Uighurs were attacked by the police.
Dilxat Raxit said, “Since the Shaoguan incident, there have been a large number of comments on the Chinese Internet against Uighurs. The Chinese government has such severe control over China’s Internet, but China’s Internet police leave these comments alone. On the other hand, why are Uighurs forbidden from making any comment?”
The Chinese Communist authorities have allegedly confiscated the mobile phones of all Uighurs in Shaoguan, Guandong province. Mr. Raxit commented, “The Chinese Communist authorities must have confiscated their mobile phones to keep them from revealing the truth. Meanwhile, the Chinese authorities threatened those Uighurs who know about the truth behind the Shaoguan incident to conceal the truth.”
The World Uighur Congress strongly condemned the Chinese Communist regime for its military suppression of the Uighur people’s nonviolent protest. It called the Uighur government “weak and lacking action” toward the Shaoguan incident. The congress also urges the international community to intervene in the Shaoguan incident to reveal the truth.