TOKYO, July 29 — Nearly 10,000 Uighurs involved in deadly riots in China’s northwestern Xinjiang region are missing and an international inquiry is needed to probe the incidents, exiled Uighur activist Rebiya Kadeer said today.
In Xinjiang’s worst ethnic violence in decades, Uighurs on July 5 attacked Han Chinese in the regional capital of Urumqi after police tried to break up a protest against fatal attacks on Uighur workers at a factory in south China.
Han Chinese in Urumqi launched revenge attacks later in the week.
The official death toll now stands at 192, most of whom were Han Chinese, who form the majority of China’s 1.3 billion population. Almost all the others were Uighurs, a Muslim people native to Xinjiang and culturally tied to Central Asia and Turkey.
Kadeer, who rejects Chinese accusations that she instigated the riots, said she did not believe the official figures and said many Uighurs had been unaccounted for.
“The nearly 10,000 people who were at the protest, they disappeared from Urumqi in one night,” she told a news conference in Tokyo through an interpreter. “If they are dead, where are their bodies? If they are detained, where are they?”
She called on the international community to send an independent investigative team to the site of the riots to uncover details of what had taken place. — Reuters