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The press releases claimed leader of this so called terrorist group was one Hassan Mahsun an Uygur living in exile who, it was further claimed, had strong ties to Al Qaida and had masterminded, among other things, several bomb attacks within China. These claims had been refuted by Mahsun in several prior interviews.
These were events of December 15 2003.
On December 23 2003 it was reported by BBC that Mahsun was killed in October 2003 by Pakistani soldiers in a raid on a suspected Al Qaida hideout in South Waziristan, Pakistan. It was further reported that Chinese Government were involved in making positive identification of body through DNA testing.
On same day Chinese newspaper Xinhua ran a similar story. Later that day Xinhua edited out all links to story claiming it had been withdrawn because of it's "sensitive nature". (Yahoo News) How then does PRC release fairly significant press statements identifying virtual "Bin Laden" of Uygur terrorists groups when they supposedly actively participated in his bodies identification in October? Why was Xinhua article cut?
It would seem that these events give strong credence to arguments that PRC is waging a calculated and pre-meditated campaign against Uygur. At very least it raises some very serious questions.
How could this happen? Perhaps because press release was written well in advance and set for release at a particular opportune time?
Does cutting of Xinhua article prove that PRC recognises it's fairly significant mistake?
Does fact that this mistake was allowed to occur prove that case for existence of Uygur terrorism argued by PRC is not taken seriously enough, even by them, to point that death of China's "Bin Laden" is of so little consequence?
These questions raise very serious doubts about Chinese claims as to existence of Uygur terrorist groups and in doing so suggests that Chinese "War on Terorism" is in fact a war on Uygur and their human rights.
It also casts serious doubts on US's and other countries' foreign policy towards China ( and other countries for that matter) in respect of human rights violations in name of "War on Terrorism".
In pursuit of objectives embodied in "War on Terrorism" are we "throwing baby out with bath water"?
The author is an Australian who runs the uygurWORLD group of non profit websites concerning the Uygur and Turkic peoples of Central Asia. He is also the publisher of "The Ugur Letter"