May 27, 2004
The authorities continued to use the international "war against terrorism" to justify harsh repression in Xinjiang, which continued to result in serious human rights violations against the ethnic Uighur community. The authorities continued to make little distinction between acts of violence and acts of passive resistance. Repression was often manifested through assaults on Uighur culture, such as the closure of several mosques, restrictions on the use of the Uighur language and the banning of certain Uighur books and journals.
The crack-down against suspected "separatists, terrorists and religious extremists" intensified following the start of a renewed 100-day security crack-down in October. Arrests continued and thousands of political prisoners, including prisoners of conscience, remained in prison. Concerns increased that China was putting pressure on neighbouring countries to forcibly return Uighurs suspected of "separatist" activities, including asylum-seekers and refugees.
Officials confirmed in October that Shaheer Ali, who had been
forcibly returned to China from Nepal in 2002, had been executed after being
found guilty of "terrorist" offences in a closed trial. He had been
recognized as a refugee by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Nepal. Shaheer
Ali had secretly left behind a detailed testimony in which he described being
beaten, given electric shocks and kicked unconscious during a previous period
of detention in 1994.
Source: Amnesty International