Persecution of Non-Muslims (China)

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Note that the persecution of apostates and the persecution of homosexuals are covered in separate pages

Thousands of Muslim Uighur protesters take to the streets, killing and raping members of China's majority Han population, and mounting decapitated heads of their children on highway posts. 156 dead and over 1,400 arrested

Baton-wielding riot police have been deployed in China's tense northwest city of Urumqi following bloody weekend riots, as authorities announced the mass arrest of more than 1,400 people.

International concern mounted over the carnage in Xinjiang, which China said left at least 156 people dead and 1,080 injured.

The United States and UN chief Ban Ki-moon led calls for restraint in the region, home to China's restive Uighur Muslim minority. Advertisement: Story continues below

But in a sign that tensions were still high, a heavy security presence remained in the heart of Urumqi where Sunday's riots occurred, with hundreds of helmeted police carrying shields and batons surrounding the People's Square.
. . .
Sunday's unrest saw thousands of Muslim Uighurs take to the streets, with state television showing protesters attacking members of China's majority Han population in scenes reminiscent of last year's violence in Tibet.

China's eight million Uighurs are a Turkic-speaking people who have long complained about the influx of Han Chinese into what they regard as their homeland, as well as political and cultural repression.
China says over 1,400 arrested for Xinjiang riots
Dan Martin, The Age, July 6, 2009
Mr Xia's journalism lecture included other examples of Xinhua's handiwork, most notably the coverage of ethnic rioting in Xinjiang last year that left nearly 200 people dead.

According to the transcript, Mr Xia explained how Xinhua concealed the true horror of the unrest, during which the victims were mostly Han Chinese, for fear that it would set off violence beyond Urumqi.

Uighur rioters burned bus passengers alive, he told the class, and they raped women and decapitated children, displaying their heads on a highway median.
News cleaned of blood in China
TodayOnline, June 5, 2010

"Chop off their heads at their workplaces or in their homes": China pleads for understanding as al-Qaeda vows revenge over the deaths of 46 Muslim rioters who killed at least 136 non-Muslim men, women, and children

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb (AQIM) said it would target the 50,000 Chinese workers in Algeria and elsewhere in Northern Africa.

Two extremist web sites affiliated with al-Qaeda also made threats against the large numbers of Chinese people working in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East.

"Chop off their heads at their workplaces or in their homes to tell them that the time of enslaving Muslims has gone," read one posting.

It is the first time that any al-Qaeda group has threatened China or its interests and illustrates the high price that Beijing may pay for the riots in Urumqi, in which at least 136 Han Chinese and 46 Uighurs died last week.
. . .
"There is an increased amount of 'chatter' on the internet among active Jihadists, who claim they want to see action to avenge the perceived injustices in Xinjiang.

"Some of these individuals have been actively seeking information on China's interests in the Muslim world which they could use for targeting purposes,"

Three weeks ago, AQIM ambushed an Algerian security team protecting a Chinese construction project and killed 24 guards.

"Future attacks of this kind are likely to target security forces and Chinese engineers alike," said Stirling Assynt's report. "They come across the Chinese a lot in the area and AQIM are likely to take the opportunity [when it presents itself]," said Mr Crump.

China's interests in Yemen could also be a target, since al-Qaeda is actively trying to topple President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

More than 400 ethnic majority Han Chinese stabbed with tainted syringes by Muslim Uyghurs over the past month. Han Chinese are even stabbed during their peaceful protest over stabbings

Thousands of Chinese demonstrators crowded the streets of Urumqi in western China on Thursday to protest what they say is a lack of police protection, witnesses said.

Over the past month, more than 400 ethnic majority Han Chinese have been stabbed with tainted syringes by Uyghurs, the Muslim minority, according to local news reports. The stabbings fueled Thursday's protests by Han Chinese in the capital of China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

Many of those attacked with the hypodermic needles were hospitalized, but there have been no reports of deaths, the reports said.

Fifteen suspects have been detained for allegedly carrying out the stabbings, a senior official said Wednesday, according to China's state-run Xinhua news agency. Of the 15, four have been formally charged, Xinhua reported.

A source told CNN that "countless" police and soldiers have deployed to Urumqi and so far, the demonstrations have been peaceful.
. . .
An art gallery director in Urumqi told CNN that thousands of people gathered on the streets on Thursday.

"People are protesting here right now. It's all Han people,"
. . .
A receptionist at a bank in the area also told CNN about the protests.

"I heard that today, even during the protest, some people got stabbed, too. People are angry that the government is not doing much against the Uyghurs' needle stabbing," said the woman, who also was afraid to give her name.

Thousands of Muslims riot, raiding and ransacking a newly-opened clubhouse near a mosque, following rumors of prostitution. 10 people injured and 30 local Islamic leaders, some of them in their 70s, arrested

Thousands of Muslims of Hui ethnic minority in China's Gansu province raided and ransacked a newly-opened clubhouse near a mosque following rumours that it has become a prostitution den, according to a media report.

The residents stormed into the Linxia clubhouse, which also houses a karaoke lounge, bathhouse and nightclub after 10 pm on September 21, just a few hours after it was opened, and ransacked it, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post quoted the Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy as saying.

The rioters smashed just about everything they could reach. About 10 people were injured in the clashes between the rioters and security guards of the clubhouse.

Up to 30 local Islamic leaders, some of them in their 70s were arrested more than a week after the clash for allegedly instigating the riots, the newspaper report said.
. . .
Bai Zhiliang, a Hui staff member said one reason for the residents' anger could have been that the clubhouse was only about 500 metres from a mosque.

More than 100 households living in the same building, above the nightclub, had also been concerned about the likelihood of loud music being played well past midnight. The boss of the nightclub was well known to every resident.

"They dare do every dirty thing inside," he said. This club unlike the other two other karaoke venues on the same street was believed to have provided special service - a euphemism for prostitution on the mainland China, he said.
China: Prostitution fears spark riot in Muslim area
The Times of India, October 5, 2010

Muslim rioters shouting "Allah is the Only God" set a police station on fire, assault police officers and hack Chinese hostages (including a teenage girl) to death. Worst violence Xinjiang has experienced since 7 police were killed last year by a Muslim who rammed them with an explosives-laden vehicle

Police shot down 14 rioters who attacked a police station in Hotan city of Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region on Monday, a Communist Party official in Hotan said Wednesday.

The official, who declined to be named, said the attack left four people dead, including an armed police officer, a security guard, a woman and a teenage girl. At least three others were injured.

Rioters hacked security guard Memet Eli to death while they were trying to break into the Na'erbage police station shortly after 12 pm Monday, said Ablet Metniyaz, chief of the police station.

"He is just 25. He planned to get married in September," said Abliz, an officer of the police station.

In addition to Eli, an armed police and two civilians died in the incident, according to Metniyaz, 38, who has been serving as chief of the police station for three years.

The rioters had taken six civilian people and some police staff hostage, and set fire and smashed things in the police station, leaving damaged computers, printers, furniture and clothes scattered around, Metniyaz said.

Shouting frantic religious slogans like "Allah the only God", the rioters ran to the top floor and police opened fire to stop them, said an anonymous policeman with the police station.

When the attack took place, most of the police station's staff were following Metniyaz to visit local residents in an effort to seek their opinions about safeguarding public security.

The rioters had occupied the police station when Metniyaz led his team back.

"I shouted in Uygur language, asking the rioters to stop doing things that run against the law and to settle disputes in peaceful way. But they kept casting gasoline bottles and rocks to us," said Metniyaz.

"I saw the rioters hacking innocent people, some of them got injuries on their faces, noses and ears."

Rioters also attacked the adjacent industrial and commercial bureau, injuring two staff there.

All the rioters were male aged between 20 to 40. They spoke with non-Hotan accent and wore sneakers -- "probably to prepare for running away," said Metniyaz.
14 rioters shot down in Xinjiang attack
China Daily, July 20, 2011
Police in western China's restive Xinjiang on Monday "gunned down" several rioters who attacked a police station and killed at least four people, though an exile group said the incident started when police fired on peaceful protesters.

The violence was the worst Xinjiang has experienced in about a year. Last August, seven Chinese military police were killed when a member of the Uighur minority rammed them with an explosives-laden vehicle in the Xinjiang border region.

State television said the latest incident took place in the desert city of Hotan when a mob attacked a police station, taking hostages and setting it on fire.

Two hostages, a paramilitary policeman and a guard died in the violence, as well as several of the attackers, it reported. Six hostages were freed.

"Police gunned down several rioters who attacked a police station and killed four people in Hotan city," the official Xinhua news agency said.

"Rioters broke into the police station shortly after 12 p.m. (0400 GMT). They assaulted the police, took hostages and set fire to the station," it added, citing the Ministry of Public Security.

"The police quickly converged on the scene and shot a number of rioters while freeing six hostages."

2nd outbreak of violence in Muslim-majority Xinjiang in a month. 2 Muslims kill truck driver, then drive lorry into pedestrians and attack them with knives, killing 6, and a seperate explosion kills 3 more. 28 people taken to hospital

Weekend unrest in Kashgar, in China's western Xinjiang region, has left at least 15 people dead, state media say.

The violence began on Saturday when two men killed a truck driver, then drove his lorry into pedestrians and attacked them with knives, killing six. One of the attackers also died.

On Sunday an explosion killed three people and police shot dead "four suspects", the Xinhua agency said.

Xinjiang has a Muslim Uighur minority and has seen serious ethnic tension.

The BBC's Martin Patience in Beijing says there are reports of further clashes in the city on Sunday. Migration dispute

A local official was quoted as saying that both of Saturday's attackers were Uighurs.

According to, a Xinjiang government-run website, the assailants hijacked a truck waiting at traffic lights, stabbing the driver to death before ploughing the vehicle into bystanders.

They then got out of the vehicle and started attacking people at random, the report said.

It said the crowd then turned on the men, killing one of them. The second man was captured.

State-run news agency Xinhua said the attack had been preceded by two explosions.

Twenty-eight people were reported to have been taken to hospital.

On Sunday, Xinhua reported another explosion, which it said killed three people, including a police officer, and injured three others.

It also said police had shot dead "four suspects" in the city, without giving further details.

This is the second outbreak of violence in Xinjiang in a month.

On 18 July, several police officials and a number of civilians were killed in an attack on a police station in the city of Hotan.

Chinese officials blamed the attack on "terrorists" from the Uighur minority.

Uighur activists said the security forces had provoked clashes by opening fire on a peaceful demonstration.

The majority of Xinjiang's population is ethnically Uighur - who are Muslims with strong cultural ties to Central Asia.

Our correspondent, Martin Patience, says many Uighurs are unhappy about what they say is the repressive rule of Beijing and are angered by the migration of the majority Han Chinese to the region.

In 2009, riots erupted in Xinjiang in which nearly 200 people died after tensions flared between the Uighurs and the Han.

Muslim Uighurs violently riot over alleged insult by Han Chinese men, fifteen people hacked to death and a further 14 injured

Ethnic violence and a clash with police left at least 12 people dead in a restive area of China’s far western region of Xinjiang, reports said on Wednesday.

State media said “a few rioters” killed at least 10 people and injured others on Tuesday evening in Yecheng county town, known as Kargilik in Uighur, in an ethnically divided area of southern Xinjiang.

“Witnesses said that the violent mob chopped the victims on Xingfu Street at about 6 pm in Yecheng county,” the official Xinhua news agency said.

Police shot dead at least two of the attackers and were searching for others, the agency said.

US-based Radio Free Asia said it received an email from an anonymous Uighur witness who said the violence was “triggered by an insult thrown at a Uighur youth by three Han Chinese men” at a market in Yecheng.
. . .
The Global Times quoted Turgunjan Tursun of the Xinjiang Academy of Social Sciences as saying Yecheng had witnessed more violence than other regions of Xinjiang in recent years and was seen as a “key region for maintaining stability.”

“Yecheng is relatively close to the border (with Pakistan and other nations), and is a secluded and remote region,” Tursun said. “It is a quite a sensitive region in geopolitics.”

Yecheng is some 200 kilometers east of China’s westernmost city, Kashgar, where at least 19 people died in two incidents involving ethnic violence and shootings by police in August.

The regional capital, Urumqi, and other areas of Xinjiang have remained tense since protests by Uighurs escalated into rioting that left about 200 people dead and 1,700 injured in Urumqi in July 2009.

Uighurs make up about 40 percent of Xinjiang’s population of 20 million.
At least 12 dead in ethnic clash in western China
Bill Smith, Bikya Masr, February 29, 2012
A court in China's far western Xinjiang region Monday sentenced a man to death for organizing a terrorist attack that left 16 people dead in February.

Abdukerem Mamut was convicted of organizing and leading a terrorist group and committing murder, according to the verdict handed out by the intermediate people's court in Kashgar prefecture.

Mamut spread religion extremism and violent terrorism and formed a terrorist group of nine between last July and February this year, the court found.

The group launched a terrorist attack on innocent pedestrians on Feb. 28 on Xingfu Walking Street in Yecheng county of Kashgar. Fifteen civilians were hacked to death and a further 14 were injured.

Militant Muslims dressed in black target train station in knife attack. They stab and hack at people at random, leaving at least 29 dead and more than 130 injured

The attackers targeted commuters at a train station in the south-west city of Kunming yesterday evening at around local time (1:20pm GMT).

Witnesses told how the carnage unfolded as the group, who were dressed mostly in black, began stabbing and hacking at people at random.

Yang Haifei, who was buying a ticket when he saw the group rush in, said: "I saw a person come straight at me with a long knife and I ran away with everyone.”

He added that the attackers caught those who were slower, saying: "They just fell on the ground."

A parking attendant, who also witnessed the attack, said: "I saw five or six of them.

“They all had knives and they were stabbing people madly over by the first and second ticket offices.”

Police claim four of the attackers were shot dead and one has been detained.

It is believed around five are still on the run.

China today claimed the “organised, premeditated violent terrorist attack” was carried out by militants from Xinjiang - a heavily Muslim region in the west of the country which borders Afghanistan and Pakistan.

State news agency Xinhua said: "Evidence at the crime scene showed that the Kunming Railway Station terrorist attack was carried out by Xinjiang separatist forces.”
. . .
The far western region of Xinjiang is home to a simmering rebellion against Chinese rule by some members of the Muslim Uighur population, who resent Chinese restrictions on their culture and religion.

Unrest in Xinjiang has killed more than 100 people in the past year, prompting authorities to toughen their stance.

It is the first time people from the region have been blamed for carrying out such a large-scale attack so far from their homeland, and follows an incident in Beijing's Tiananmen Square in October in which a car ploughed into tourists killing the three people in the vehicle and two bystanders.