Sunday, August 10, 2008

Fragment of Statement by the Uyghur American Association Condemning Violence

The Uyghur American Association (UAA) resolutely condemns the message delivered in a terror video just released and dated August 1, in which a man speaking in Uyghur claims to be part of a so-called the Turkistan Islamic Party. UAA condemns any groups that promote terrorism or violence, and opposes the threats of violent attacks that are presented in the video.

"The goal of our organization, and of the vast majority of Uyghurs around the world, is to peacefully resolve the problems facing Uyghurs in East Turkestan," said Uyghur freedom movement leader Rebiya Kadeer. "We advocate the principle of non-violence, and the promotion of freedom, democracy and human rights through peaceful means. We also sincerely hope for a peaceful Olympic Games."

UAA urges caution with respect to claims circulated in the media regarding the Turkistan Islamic Party, as the existence of the group, its size and level of organization and any reported links to al Qaeda have yet to be confirmed. UAA maintains a degree of skepticism that this group exists beyond the Internet. UAA is also unaware of any mention of the Turkistan Islamic Party prior to last month, when a separate video was released that was reportedly also produced by the organization. Prior to the release of this video, UAA had never heard of the group. In addition, UAA urges the international community not to discount the possibility that the Chinese government itself may have been involved in the production of the video.

UAA also urges a high degree of caution when assessing recent assertions by Chinese government officials regarding the existence of a well-organized terrorist group or groups in East Turkestan, as these assertions have yet to be independently verified. UAA also urges skepticism with regard to official Chinese claims of a strong linkage between al Qaeda and alleged Uyghur terrorist groups, which have similarly remained unsubstantiated.

Comment by me: Violence in Xinjiang only makes the situation there worse.

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