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27-08-05, 00:18
Dissident rejects terror plot claims

From correspondents in Washington

August 27, 2005

A PROMINENT Muslim Uighur dissident has dismissed China's claim that she was plotting with "terrorist groups" to disrupt the anniversary of Beijing's takeover of the Xinjiang region.

"The Chinese government wants to silence my voice before the international community with such unsubstantiated charges," said Rebiya Kadeer, a top advocate for the rights of China's Muslim Uighur minority in Xianjiang.

Uighur separatists have been fighting to re-establish an independent state called East Turkestan in Xinjiang since it became part of China in 1955.

Xinjiang's top communist official Wang Lequan said this week that Kadeer had been plotting attacks targeted at the October 1 anniversary of China's takeover of Xinjiang, the Xinhua news agency reported.

"Rebiya had met with heads of terrorist groups abroad to plot to sabotage the celebration for the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region," he said in a Xinhua report.

Kadeer, released from a Chinese jail in March on medical parole after being jailed for six years for leaking "state secrets," said Beijing had levelled other unsubstantiated charges such as tax evasion and fraud against her.

"Speaking out against the Chinese government's gross violations of the fundamental human rights of the Uighur people is not terrorism," she said in a statement issued in Washington by the World Uighur Congress.

Congress President Erkin Alptekin demanded in the statement that the Chinese authorities apologize for the "unfounded allegations" against Kadeer and "stop such demonizations" against Uighur leaders."

The World Uighur Congress said it condemned terrorism in all forms and promoted the right of the Uighurs to use "peaceful, nonviolent, and democratic means to determine the political future of East Turkestan."

AFP

This report was published at www.dailytelegraph.com.au
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