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China executes two Uighurs in E. Turkistan in disputed attack

April 11, 2009

China executed two Uighurs in East Turkistan
after a court convicted them over a deadly attack
on police in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics
World Bulletin / News Desk
April 9, 2009

China executed two Uighurs in East Turkistan
(China calls it Xinjiang) on Thursday after a
court convicted them over a deadly attack on
police in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics, the
official Xinhua news agency said.

The two members of Muslim Uighur minority were
put to death in the city of Kashgar, where the
attack that left 17 dead and another 15 injured
took place, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The men -- Abdurahman Azat, 33, and Kurbanjan
Hemit, 28 -- were sentenced to death in December after being "found guilty".

The Kashgar court said the two men had "carried
out the terrorist attack" on Aug. 4 to sabotage
the Beijing Olympic Games, Xinhua reported. Their
execution was "publicised" at a meeting of some
4,000 officials and residents in a local stadium, it said.

But human rights groups and Uighur independence
activists say Beijing grossly exaggerates the threat to justify harsh controls.

On Wednesday, China also announced that two
people had been sentenced to death over riots in
Tibet's regional capital Lhasa last year.

Disputed accounts

The men allegedly crashed a lorry into
paramilitary police before detonating some
explosives in the city of Kashgar in August.

The Xinhua report is different from what tourists
told New York Times in December report.

The Xinhua report backed up the official version
of the attack. The report said that the two men,
armed with guns, explosives, knives and axes,
drove a heavy truck that they had stolen into the
officers when they came out for their exercises, killing 15 and wounding 13.

A man of three foreign tourists provided photos
of the assault to two Western news organizations.

Tourists were in the Barony Hotel, across the
street from the site of the assault, gave details
of the attack to The New York Times that appeared
at odds with aspects of the official version.

The tourists confirmed that the truck plowed into
the officers, leaving many dead and injured. But
they said they did not hear multiple explosions afterward.

Furthermore, they said they saw paramilitary
officers using machetes to attack what appeared
to be other men with the same green security
uniforms. The men with the machetes mingled
freely with other officers afterward, the tourists said.

The Xinhua report did not give any details on
what kind of evidence was reviewed by the court
in Kashgar during the trial of the two men.

Chinese officials previously claimed the
attackers linked them to the East Turkestan
Islamic Movement,which struggled against Chinese
occupation in Muslim majority region.

Critics accuse Beijing of using claims of
terrorism as an excuse to crack down on peaceful
pro-independence sentiment and expressions of Uighur identity.

History of Uyghurs

Historical records show that the Uyghurs have a
history of more than 4000 years. Throughout the
history the Uyghurs developed a unique culture
and civilization and made remarkable contribution
to the civilization of the world.

East Turkistan has 8 million Uighurs.

The Uyghurs Islam in 934, during the reign of
Satuk Bughra Khan, the Kharahanid ruler. Since
that time on the Islam continuously served
Uyghurs as the only religion until today.

After embracing Islam the Uyghurs continued to
preserve their cultural dominance in Central Asia.

East Turkistan was occupied by the communist
China in 1949 and its name was changed in 1955.
The communist China has been excersizing a
colonial rule over the East Turkistan since then.

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