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Uyghur News
10-01-08, 17:12
Case Shows Plight of Uyghurs in China


Ahmet Ablikim, a 31 year old Uyghur activist, faces deportation from the Netherlands back to China in the coming days as he awaits the outcome of his final appeal under the appeals process.

Once in China, Mr Ablikum, like many of his Uyghur compatriots faces detention and possible capital punishment for his activities.

Since fleeing to the Netherlands in 2006 Mr Ablikum has been active in raising awareness for the Uyghur cause, including collaboration with the East Turkestan Foundation of the Netherlands.

Under article four of the Chinese constitution, it should be possible to protect and freely participate in events that are traditional to Uyghur culture and customs. This has never proved to be entirely the case, and in 1994 celebration of the Uyghur New Year and culture were outlawed.

Uyghurs who have protested against such infringements of cultural expression have typically found themselves detained for years on charges of ‘state security crimes’, alleged promotion of separatism, or even terrorism. A number of Uyghur organisations have been suppressed and banned by the Chinese authorities and detention of Uyghur activists is often accompanied by extensive use of torture designed to extract confessions.

As China prepares to host the 2008 Olympic Games, acts such as those perpetrated by the Chinese authorities against the Uyghur place it at odds with the key principles of Olympism. Among those principles is the understanding that “discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement”.