Human Rights Groups Point to Increased Persecution of Muslims

April 12, 2005

Source: The New York Times

On April 12, 2005 The New York Times reported, "China has stepped up a campaign of religious persecution against its minority Uighur population in the western region of Xinjiang even though the government has already eliminated any organized resistance to Beijing's rule there, two leading human rights groups said in a joint report to be released Tuesday.

The groups, Human Rights Watch and Human Rights in China, quoted secret Communist Party and government documents as detailing a range of new policies that tighten controls on religious worship, assembly and artistic expression among Xinjiang's eight million Turkic-speaking Muslims, including strict rules on teaching religion to minors.

China adopted some of the measures, the groups said, after it persuaded the Bush administration that a little known Uighur exile group, the East Turkistan Islamic Movement, was responsible for terrorist acts and belonged on America's list of leading terrorist threats. The groups said China has used isolated terrorist acts to justify a wholesale crackdown on its Uighur Muslim population."