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UAA/UHRP
03-07-06, 18:40
Young Uyghur shot and beaten to death by police in Guangzhou

For immediate release
July 3, 2006, 16:15 EDT
Contact: Uyghur Human Rights Project +1 (202) 349 1496

Sources close to the Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) have reported to the organization that a young Uyghur man was shot dead by police in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou on June 19. UHRP’s sources claim the young man, known only by his given name, Hasan, 19, was shot in the back as he attempted to run away from several police officers. Although he was not fatally shot, but police officers came after him and beat him to death with batons in their hands, sources said.

According to sources, Hasan and his wife were sitting outside a Uyghur restaurant on Guangyuan West Road in a predominantly Uyghur neighborhood in Guangzhou. Two police officers approached Hasan and his wife, demanding to search Hasan. According to sources, Hasan refused to cooperate with the officers, wanting to know why they wanted to search him.

Hasan sent his wife away when the officers called for support, and several more officers arrived more or less immediately from the nearby Kuangquan police station. The police attempted to physically restrain Hasan – an attempt described by UHRP’s sources as a violent assault – but Hasan managed to break free. As he ran away, he was shot once in the back and died soon after violent police beating, according to sources. His wife witnessed his death.

The following day, on June 20, a large peaceful crowd of Uyghurs assembled outside the Guangdong Provincial government building, protesting against police brutality and calling for some form of compensation to be paid to Hasan’s family, in particular to his young wife. Four representatives from the crowd were invited into the government building to explain their grievances, according to sources, although it is not clear who in government these representatives met with.

The crowd peacefully dispersed after it was explained to the four representatives that the relevant authorities would “look into” the shooting. However, on the evening of the shooting, local television reported only that Hasan was a street thief who had been caught red-handed, and was legitimately shot as he attempted to evade arrest.

“Uyghurs are extremely vulnerable to this kind of treatment at the hands of police in China,” said Alim Seytoff, Director of the UHRP. “Of course, no one in China – no matter where they are from – is safe from the large number of aggressive or corrupt police officers.”

Uyghurs, however, are increasingly depicted in the popular Chinese media as either thieves, drug-runners or even terrorists.

“It’s therefore no surprise that police should have arbitrarily decided to try and search Hasan; and it’s no surprise either that Hasan was probably fed up with the constant attention from police for no other reason than he was a Uyghur, and decided not to cooperate,” continued Mr. Seytoff. “Tragically, it was the last thing he ever did.”

It is not known where Hasan's remains are being kept, and according to sources, his family has not yet been informed when to retrieve his body for his funeral.

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The Uyghur American Association (UAA) works to promote the preservation and flourishing of a rich, humanistic and diverse Uyghur culture, and to support the right of the Uyghur people to use peaceful, democratic means to determine their own political future.

The UAA has undertaken the Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) for the purpose of promoting improved human rights conditions for Uyghurs and other indigenous groups in East Turkistan, on the premise that the assurance of basic human rights will facilitate the realization of the community’s democratic aspirations.

Uyghur Human Rights Project
Uyghur American Association
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