View Full Version : Rebiya Kadeer's personal account of Gulja after the massacre on 5 February 1997

05-02-08, 14:54

People’s Republic of China

Rebiya Kadeer's personal account of Gulja after the massacre on 5 February 1997

View this document in Chinese (http://web.amnesty.org/library/pdf/ASA170012007CHINESE/$file/ASA1700107.pdf)([<img src="http://www.amnesty.org/images/resources/pdf-icon.gif" alt="" border="0" hspace="2">] PDF)

I began hearing about terrible events occurring in Gulja in early February 1997, and decided – as a Uighur and a member of the Chinese National People’s Congress, that I had to go to see for myself what was happening.

I arrived in Gulja City in the morning of 7 or 8 February, and went to the home of a Uighur friend of mine. In the afternoon my friend took me to the home of another Uighur family whose two sons had been killed during the Chinese military crackdown on the peaceful protestors in Gulja a couple of days earlier. Their daughter had been arrested and her whereabouts were unknown. The parents were pale and highly distraught. Just as I was trying to talk with them, the Ili Prefectural Police and Chinese Military officers and soldiers burst into the house. The soldiers pulled the parents by the hair and kicked them really hard. The top military officer ordered me to put my hands on my head and to face the wall and said, "if you resist or shout and scream, we will shoot you." It was clear that it was the Chinese military officer in command, not the prefectural police, who didn't dare say anything in front of him. They forced me to strip completely naked and searched all my clothes.

After finding nothing I was ordered to put my clothes back on, and was taken to the prefectural police station for further questioning. The police chief warned me not to visit any more homes and to leave the city immediately. He said I would be held responsible for the deaths of any people I visited who passed information on to me, and even my own death if something terrible happened. I was then allowed to leave the police station. I nevertheless resolved to stay in the city to gather more information.

As I left the police station someone dropped a note in front of me which read "Go and visit the Yengi Hayat Neighbourhood." When I arrived in that neighbourhood I saw a large house with all the doors open, and even some food on the table, but with no one at home. I knocked at the house next door, but no one answered. I tried another house, and a Hui Muslim opened the door and addressed me in perfect Uighur. I asked him what had happened to the people in the house next door. He said they may have been killed in the demonstration. He said they had been really nice neighbours. When I asked him how many people had lived in the house he was not comfortable answering, but he said many had been killed in that neighbourhood and taken away in military trucks.

I asked him if he could direct me to the home of a Uighur family in the neighbourhood, but he said most Uighurs would be too scared to let me into their homes. But he pointed me to the house of an Uzbek family. A 60-year old Uzbek woman opened the door. Despite her concern that I was being followed she gave me some tea and spoke to me about the demonstration and the crackdown. She said she had seen numerous Chinese military trucks piled high with dead or beaten Uighurs going into the local Yengi Hayat Prison but had not seen people leaving. She said she was certain that nearly 1000 Uighurs had been taken into the prison, but that the prison could only accommodate 500 prisoners. Furthermore, she said she saw many military trucks leaving the prison that were filled with dirt. Many others I spoke with had also witnessed this. Many suspected that dead bodies were buried in the dirt and were being taken out to be disposed of.

Later, I visited the home of another individual, Abdushukur Hajim, who had not participated in the demonstration but who had witnessed killings by the Chinese military. While at his home, the Ili Prefectural Police broke in and detained me for a second time, again taking me back to the police station. I learned later that this gentleman was subsequently arrested and sentenced to two years in prison for passing "state secrets" to me. When he was released two years later he had had a mental breakdown.

Even after my second detention and warning by the Ili Prefectural Police I did not leave Ghulja. I simply felt it was my responsibility to bear witness to the events there and to gather information. I was eventually detained a third time. When I arrived at the police station they said "we’ve told you repeatedly to leave but you are still here. OK, then, if you are so interested to know what happened here then look at this."

They then showed me footage they had filmed of the military crack-down in Gulja in the proceeding days. I believe their intention was to terrify me and to intimidate me into silence. I watched the footage in the police station with several other people, including the prefectural police chief. I have never seen such viciousness in my life and it is difficult for me to adequately describe the horror of the scenes in the film. In one part dozens of military dogs were attacking – lunging and biting at, peaceful demonstrators, including women and children. Chinese PLA soldiers were bludgeoning the demonstrators – thrashing at their legs until they buckled and fell to the ground. Those on the ground – some alive, others dead, were then dragged across the ground and dumped all together into dozens of army trucks.

The footage also captured a young Uighur girl screaming, "Semetjan", then running to a young man who was bleeding and being dragged by a Chinese soldier to a truck. Another soldier knocked her down and shot her dead right on the spot. He then dragged her by the hair and dumped her into the same truck into which the young man had been thrown. In another part of the film gunshots were fired into a group of Uighur children, aged 5 to 6, who were with a woman holding a baby, all were shot. It wasn’t clear where the guns were being fired from, whether from a rooftop or truck-top. There were tanks in the street, and in the film one could see three kinds of PLA soldiers: those with a helmet, baton, and shield; those with automatic weapons; and those with rifles with bayonets. In the film I heard Chinese soldiers shouting, "kill them!, kill them!" I heard one officer shouting to a soldier, "Is he a Uighur or Chinese? Don’t touch the Chinese but kill the Uighur."

After watching the footage I felt I had done what I could. I had seen enough of the horror. I left Gulja City for Urumchi. Upon arriving at the Gulja airport I was strip-searched by agents of the Chinese National Security Bureau. They confiscated all of my belongings, including my clothing and luggage. They gave me new clothing to wear and escorted me to the airplane.

Approximately ten days after my return to Urumchi, one woman and two young men from Gulja came to my office. They told me that they hadn’t participated in the demonstration in Gulja but since the Chinese authorities indiscriminately arresting many Uighurs, including those who hadn’t participated in the demonstration, they decided to flee to Urumchi. One of them said his father was even a communist party member, but he still didn’t feel safe. The woman told me with tears in her eyes that Chinese soldiers fired into a crowd of Uighurs waving goodbye to their relatives who were being paraded through the city streets in trucks on their way to the execution ground. She said when one desperate mother shouted to her son on the truck and raised her hands, Chinese soldiers on a building fired upon her with a machine gun and killed 5-6 Uighurs standing beside her. Some Russians standing nearby saw what happened and shouted "Fascists! Fascists!"

During my stay in Ghulja I visited some 30 Uighur families and met with nearly 100 people. I felt the pain of the Uighur families who lost their sons and daughters in the military crackdown on this peaceful protest. Having been detained and threatened on three occasions, I was able to understand the severity of the situation by experiencing first hand mistreatment at the hands of Chinese military and police.

I am speaking out so that we do not forget those who lost their lives in Gulja and to call for accountability on the part of the Chinese authorities.

On 5 February 1997, dozens of people were killed or seriously injured when the Chinese security forces brutally broke up a peaceful demonstration in the city of Gulja (Yining) in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR) of China. Hundreds, possibly thousands, lost their lives or were seriously injured in the unrest that occurred the following day. Large numbers of people were arrested during the demonstrations and their aftermath. Many detainees were beaten or otherwise tortured. An unknown number remain unaccounted for.

Uighurs are a mainly Muslim ethnic minority who are concentrated primarily in China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR). Since the 1980s, the Uighurs have been the target of systematic and extensive human rights violations. This includes arbitrary detention and imprisonment, incommunicado detention, and serious restrictions on religious freedom as well as cultural and social rights. Uighur political prisoners have been executed after unfair trials. In recent years, China has exploited the international "war on terror" to suppress the Uighurs, labelling them "terrorists", "separatists", or "religious extremists".
Rebiya Kadeer, nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006, is a Uighur human rights activist and former prisoner of conscience. In November 2006, she was also elected president of the World Uighur Congress (WUC) in Munich. She lives in exile in the US.

14-02-08, 18:46

星岛环球网 www.stnn.cc
【星岛网讯】香港《星岛日报》报道 北京奥运会举行前的最后一个春节期 ,新疆**部队联合当地*方发动专 项反恐行动,上周(2月4日)在首府乌 鲁木齐市区与疆独恐怖分*展开枪战 击毙至少十八名恐怖分*。官方13日 受星岛日报查询时承认事件,但否认 两**在战斗*牺牲的*闻。

  北京奥组委目前**紧部署反恐 作,已安排一百五十名军事作战、反 专家,九至十万名*察,参与奥运反 恐应急行动,并将疆独组织视为奥运 安的“头号敌人”。新疆将在奥运开 前继*展开大规模反恐行动,力争肃 清境内恐怖分*。

  据报道,一批拥有枪支和炸药的 独恐怖集团,上月底开始聚集乌鲁本 天山区幸福花*数个单位,*划在年 廿九(本月五日)发动爆炸*恐怖暴 事件。

  官方获得情报后,于本月4日展开 动,主管幸福花*小区的幸福路派出 所*察也参与行动。数百名**包围 关单位,展开抓捕时*遇恐怖分*开 反抗;**以优势兵力冲入大楼,全 *恐怖分*,据称总共打*十八人, 缴获部分枪械、爆炸物*。

  ***也有二人牺牲。幸福路派 所13日接受查询时证实这宗反恐行动 不过否认有*方人员伤亡,同时也不 透露事件详情。据悉,当地媒体*为 事件高度敏感,同时为了避免“*坏 节祥和气氛”不能报道。

  幸福花*是乌鲁木齐市新建的大 小区,居民达十万之众,也有大量空 房屋,给恐怖分*留下可乘之机。有 居民表示,当时枪声犹如放爆竹,许 人吓至*天不敢出门。小区目前已恢 平静,但*方外松内紧,保持高度戒 备。

  疆独是主*疆独的“东突伊斯兰 动”*伊斯兰*装组织的总称,曾在 富汗基地组织*练大批骨干分*,近 年已在新疆制*超过两百宗的恐怖爆 事件,至少*成一百*十多人*亡。

  据*方掌握的情报,疆独组织目 *在进行整合,很可能在北京奥运年 动恐怖*击、甚至是生物*器*击。

  官方对*高度重视,新任*央政 局常委、*央政法委书记周永康上月 在雪灾期间专程飞赴新疆考察调*、 指导反恐工作,他要求新疆党、政、 、*要高度重视、全力做好维护新疆 定的工作,严密防范、严厉打击境内 外“三股势力”(恐怖主义、分裂主 、极端主义)的捣乱*坏活动,努力 现新疆的长治久安。