Wife says police forced convicted Muslim activist to confess to crimes.
He also claimed that more than 1,500 semi-assembled grenades were seized in the raid east of China’s border with Kyrgyzstan.
“There has been a separatist movement in Xinjiang for quite some time but its unlikely that it really is motivated by extremists, particularly religious extremists,” Tony Cheng, Al Jazeera’s Beijing correspondent, said.
|“The real Uighurs aren’t involved in terrorism. They just want their political rights”
Dilxat Raxit, spokesman for
the exiled World Uighur Congress
The Uighurs are Turkic-speaking Muslims with a language and culture distinct from the majority of Chinese. Many resent the growing Han Chinese presence in the region, as well as government controls on religion and culture.
He also questioned the legitimacy of the Uighurs who were in the Chinese parliament, saying they had been hand-picked by the Chinese government.
“These people and their statements are just a sham intended to fool international opinion,” Raxit said.
The World Uighur Congress is headed by Rebiya Kadeer who was jailed for more than five years before being sent into exile in the United States in 2005, where her championing of her people’s rights has led supporters to dub her the “mother of the Uighur people”.
|Despite Chinese accusations there is little evidence of Uighur extremism [Getty]|
During the news conference in Beijing, she was condemned by Ismail Tiliwaldi, chairman of the Xinjiang Uighur region.
Tiliwaldi declined to answer questions about Kadeer’s third son, Ablikim Abdiriyim, who Amnesty International said has been tried in secret by a Chinese court after being severely beaten while in detention.
He was tried on charges of separatism, subversion and sending information over the internet to his mother, Amnesty said on Friday. It was unclear what sentence was passed.