by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) June 19, 2012
Authorities in China's western-most Xinjiang region have launched house-to-house searches after a clash at an Islamic school left 12 children injured, police and a rights group said Tuesday.
Xinjiang is home to around nine million mainly Muslim Uighurs, many of whom complain of religious and cultural repression by Chinese authorities -- a claim the government denies -- and the region is regularly hit by unrest.
The US-based Uyghur American Association (UAA) said police were stepping up a crackdown on underground Islamic schools after the June 6 clash in Xinjiang's Hetian city and were threatening to break down doors if locals did not cooperate.
"According to arrangements made by relevant departments at higher levels, our joint residential police bureaus will be inspecting all buildings in residential and family compounds," a police notice posted in Hetian's Gujiangbage quarter said.
"If there are families that do not open their doors, and do not cooperate with the inspection, we will force our way in, any resulting consequences will be the responsibility of the residents," photos of the notice obtained by UAA warned.
Police at the Gujiangbage bureau confirmed the searches when contacted by AFP.
"Most people are cooperating, but some people are not," one policeman told AFP. "I am not aware of any police forcefully entering homes," he said before abruptly hanging up.
According to Hetian police, 12 children were injured when "criminal suspects" ignited an incendiary bomb at the illegal Gujiangbage Islamic school as police stormed the building on June 6 to "liberate" the youths.
Three suspects were arrested, the police said at the time.
The exiled Uighur community, however, disputed the official version of events, citing sources on the ground as saying police tossed tear gas into the school.
Xinjiang has been under heavy security since July 2009, when Uighurs launched attacks on Han people -- who make up most of China's population -- in the regional capital Urumqi.
"The searches in Hotan (Hetian) are consistent with recent examples of the use of force to crack down on peaceful Uighur activities deemed outside of state control," the UAA statement said.
China News from SinoDaily.com
Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.
China's contemporary music scene takes off
Beijing (AFP) June 19, 2012
After decades struggling with official censorship, China's contemporary music scene is finally taking off, fuelled by live shows, the Internet and a government eager to cash in on a growing market. Chinese indie bands came late to the music scene, largely missing out on the lucrative days of vinyl records, cassettes and compact discs, and also suffered enormously from state broadcasters' pre ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|