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Reuters
22-06-06, 10:53
Exile Asks U.N. To Probe China Rights Abuses
Reuters
Jun 22, 2006

BEIJING - The new U.N. Human Rights Council should probe the record of one of its members, China, which continues to lock up and harass dissidents and minorities, an exiled Uighur activist said on Thursday.

Turkic-speaking Muslim Uighurs account for about 8 million of the 19 million people in Xinjiang, a vast region bordering the former Soviet Central Asian republics, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Beijing has waged a long campaign against Uighur separatists, whom it labels terrorists and accuses of staging a series of bombings, uprisings and assassinations since the 1980s and of training and fighting alongside the al Qaeda network.

Human rights activists accuse Beijing of using its support of the U.S.-led war on terror to legitimise its crackdown on Uighur activists.

"China's election (to the Council) is quite ironic coming at this time when nothing is getting better," said Dilxat Raxit, a Swedish-based Uighur dissident from the World Uighur Congress, which wants independence for Xinjiang.

"Not only is China continuing to persecute petitioners, dissidents, religious people, reporters and human rights activists by locking them up, the situation is actually getting worse," he said in an emailed statement.

"We want the U.N. Human Rights Council to investigate China's record and push it on the road towards protecting human rights."

The 45-member U.N. Human Rights Council started work on Monday, replacing the widely discredited Human Rights Commission.

http://www.theepochtimes.com/news/6-6-22/43070.html