Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 103

The Kazakhstan-based Uighur cultural association and the East Turkestan Revolutionary Front made public yesterday an appeal to the governments of Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan to intercede and halt persecution of Uighurs in China’s Xinjiang province. The province borders on the ex-Soviet Central Asian countries. The two Uighur organizations in Almaty cited Chinese press reports concerning political purges in Xinjiang and the arrest of at least 1,700 Uighur "separatists," "Islamic fundamentalists," and "terrorists" over the last month. The targets reportedly include students, underground Muslim study groups, and Uighur cadres of the Communist party in local administration. The measures were launched following the April 27 Shanghai agreement on border security and confidence-building among China, Russia, and the Central Asian countries. The Almaty Uighurs decided to made their appeal public after the four recipient governments failed to respond to their appeal. The inaction of those governments leaves no alternative to "direct action" by Uighur youth, the leaders warned. (Reuter, May 28)

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