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22-07-07, 05:37
Activist: members of Muslim minority group in China forced to surrender their passports
The Associated Press

BEIJING: Members of a Muslim minority group in far-western China have been ordered to hand over their passports to police in a government effort to prevent them from making a pilgrimage to Mecca, an activist said.

Uighurs in Xinjiang province were ordered to surrender their passports about two months ago, Dilxat Raxit, spokesman for the Germany-based World Uighur Congress, said in a telephone interview Thursday. Passports that were not turned in would be voided, he said.

The Uighurs are Turkic-speaking Muslims with a language and culture distinct from the majority of Chinese.

Officers at two district public security bureaus in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang province, said Friday that Uighurs were required to submit their passports for "safekeeping." Both refused to give their names or any additional details.

It was not known how many Uighurs had turned in their passports.

Raxit said Uighurs who wanted to leave China could do so only after being officially invited by a formal organization, and in some cases would have to put down a deposit of 50,000 yuan (US$6,600; €4,780) to retrieve their passports.

He accused the Chinese government of preventing pilgrims from going to Mecca in an effort to "restrict religious freedom."

The annual pilgrimage to Mecca, called hajj, attracts Muslims from across the world. Beginning this year on Dec. 18, it is a chance for Muslims to purge themselves of sin and fulfill one of the five main tenets of Islam. Pilgrims often save money for years for what is usually a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

In May, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom named Uighur Muslims among several groups in China subject to "serious restrictions, state control, and repression."

China is officially atheist. Christians, Buddhists, Taoists and Muslims are allowed to worship, but only in churches, temples or mosques run by state-monitored groups.

A man at the Xinjiang provincial Communist Party office, who refused to give his name, said he did not know anything about the passport confiscations. Calls to the Urumqi public security bureau were not answered.


22-07-07, 05:40
Uygurlarning passportini yigiwilish mesilisini heliq araga anglatqanliqi uchun dunya uygur qurultiyiga rehmet

22-07-07, 07:33

22-07-07, 07:36