Amnesty slams China for Uighur crackdown

July 5, 2012 05:53

BEIJING, July 5 (Reuters) - China has detained and intimidated dozens of ethnic Uighurs in the far western region of Xinjiang for speaking out on rights abuses following riots in the regional capital three years ago, Amnesty International said.

In July 2009, the capital city of Urumqi was rocked by violence between majority Han Chinese and minority Uighurs that killed nearly 200 people. Many of the Muslim Uighurs, who speak a Turkic language and call Xinjiang home, chafe at Beijing's rule.

Since then, China has executed nine people it accused of instigating the riots, detained and prosecuted hundreds and ramped up spending on security, according to state media and overseas rights groups.

Amnesty, in a report issued late on Wednesday, said it had new testimony that Beijing continues to "intimidate" families seeking information on missing relatives who have revealed human rights abuses during and after the July 2009 protests.

Catherine Baber, Amnesty's director for the Asia-Pacific, said "the general trend toward repression that we see all over China is particularly pronounced" in Xinjiang.

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