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UAA/UHRP
13-09-06, 18:29
Ms. Rebiya Kadeer thankful for Nobel nomination; China issues unfounded allegations

For immediate release
Wednesday September 13, 2006, 18:00 EDT
Contact: Uyghur American Association 1 (202) 349 1496

The Uyghur American Association (UAA), which represents the collective voice of the Uyghur people in the United States of America, was delighted by the recent news that its current president, Ms. Rebiya Kadeer, has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

The nomination was made by Swedish parliamentarian Annelie Enochson, who stated “Rebiya Kadeer champions the rights of western China’s Uyghur ethnic group and is one of China’s most prominent advocates of women's rights.” Referring to Ms. Kadeer’s successful business and political career when she was still in East Turkistan (designated as Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region by the Chinese government), Ms. Enochson added: “Kadeer has also used her resources as founder and director of a large trading company in northwestern China to provide fellow Uyghurs with training and employment.”

The Chinese government lost no time in condemning the nomination.

A spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Ms. Kadeer was “not qualified” to represent “Chinese Uyghurs” and accused her of being a member of the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), which has been listed by the US and UN as a terrorist organization.

Ms. Kadeer was in a Chinese prison from 1999 to 2005 and had never heard of ETIM until she arrived in the United States last year.

The Chinese government made a similar accusation against Ms. Kadeer in August 2005, alleging that she was plotting terrorist attacks on official celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of Chinese administration of East Turkistan. No supporting or corroborating evidence was ever presented to support the allegation.

“I am honored to have been nominated for such a prestigious prize,” said Ms. Kadeer. “I view it as a mark of recognition of the plight of all Uyghur people. I am a woman of peace,” she added. “Therefore I oppose all violence and acts of terrorism. I am committed to campaigning peacefully for the human rights of Uyghur people. I will continue to speak out against China’s persecution of not only the Uyghur people, but also Tibetans, Mongolians, and the Chinese people themselves until all of them can enjoy their rights and freedoms.”

Ms. Enochson told reporters that Ms. Kadeer “has shown unparalleled courage in opposing the Chinese authorities’ repressive policies,” and added “Her fight has been like that of Dalai Lama and I know no other person now more worthy of the prize.”

See also:

Lack of evidence continues to undermine China’s claims of ‘terrorism’ in East Turkistan, September 7, 2006, available at: http://uhrp.org/articles/247/1/Lack-of-evidence-continues-to-undermine-Chinas-claims-of-terrorism-in-East-Turkistan/UHRP-Backgrounder-Lack-of-evidence-continues-to-undermine-Chinas-claims-of-terrorism-in-East-Tur.html

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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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