View Full Version : Letter to the Editor:China, Uighur Groups give Conflicting Riot Accounts (WP 7/25/09)

Congressman McGovern
28-07-09, 18:45
The Washington Post
Washington, D.C.

Dear Editor:

As Co-Chair of the House Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission (TLHRC), I am troubled by the premise of the recent article, “China, Uighur Groups give Conflicting Riot Accounts” (WP 7/25/09). I agree that we have yet to receive a full, credible and objective accounting of events leading up to and during China’s most recent crackdown against the Uyghur people of Xinjiang province. Post reporters chose, however, to equate and blame in equal terms both Uyghur human rights democracy leader Rebiya Kadeer and Chinese authorities for waging “an emotional propaganda war with geopolitical implications” with “gaps in both stories.” I can only imagine how offensive such a comparison must sound to Ms. Kadeer, who spent almost six years in a Chinese jail for trying to share human rights information with a visiting congressional delegation. When congressional staff with the House Foreign Affairs Committee traveled to Xinjiang as part of a 2006 fact-finding mission, Ms. Kadeer’s family members were detained and beaten by Chinese police, even though no one was going to meet with them. Two of Ms. Kadeer’s sons, Alim and Ablikim Abdureyim, have been imprisoned ever since. These are the facts of life for Uyghur human rights defenders, which did not even merit mention in the article. Both the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the TLHRC recently held hearings on the reality of Uyghur rights in Xinjiang, testimony which could have easily been referenced by your reporters. Regrettably, readers are left with the impression that China has allowed “unusual freedom to conduct interviews” and access to the area where clashes occurred. If China is so gracious as to grant access, why would it reject an impartial investigation by the relevant United Nations human rights mechanisms, organizations that can genuinely investigate the circumstances of the violent events and the legality of the subsequent mass arrests and detentions? Unfortunately, “gaps” in the story also stem from your reporting.


/s/James P. McGovern
Member of Congress

Uyghur man
28-07-09, 21:20
Thanks, Congressman McGovern.
Indeed, many reporters fell for the Chinese trick and left their readers with the impression that China allowed unrestricted access and free reporting of the Urumchi events. The reality is China always try to hide the truth with all means. If the Government really want to let the truth out it should've allowed impartial investigation by international organizations and lift the ban on phone and internet communications. The phonelines and internet are still down, I have yet to talk to my relatives to find out if they are ok.
Reports should've done a little home work before they decided to rely on the information and impression provided and staged by the Chinese government.