IFC Statement on China’s Brutality against Uyghur Children at Hotan Religious School

Posted on Jun 7, 2012

In reaction to China’s recent attack on a religious school in Hotan City in Xinjiang Province, Initiatives for China issued the following statement:

 

We are horrified at the news that Chinese police attacked a Muslim religious school on Wednesday, brutally injuring 12 children and three school staff. We condemn this appalling act that shows total disregard for the safety and lives of young Uyghur children.

 

We are very troubled by the fact that immediately after the attack the Chinese authorities arrested 47 people, including 11 women, and many of the people who were arrested are believed to be the parents and relatives of the 54 Uyghur children who studied at the religious school, according to local sources.

 

We are extremely concerned with China’s systematic religious persecution and repression. Only those religious groups that are sanctioned by the Chinese Communist Party are allowed to exist. The crackdown by Chinese police on unsanctioned religious institutions is extremely harsh, and people with religious beliefs are often beaten, tortured, and killed by Chinese Police. The attack in Hotan is another example of this cruelty.

 

We are also alarmed by the increased crackdown on religious activity in the Uyghur region. Just two weeks ago, Mirzahid  Amanullah, a teenage Uyghur religion student, died in police custody; on May 31, Sadike Ku’erban, a resident in Kashgar was sentenced to 15 year in prison for teaching the Koran to young children in religious home schools.

 

We urge the Chinese government to stop its brutal attacks against the Uyghur people and their religion. Such crackdowns will only create deep resentment and hatred, and intensify tensions between ethnic groups, and potentially cause large scale unrest.

 

We appeal to the international community and the U.S. government to condemn such brutality and to launch an investigation into this tragedy.