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China Letter-News and Human Rights

China human rights news with focus on the Uygur of Xinjiang, Tibetans and Tibet, Chinese mining workers, religion, corruption and censorship.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

World Uyghur Congress Calls on Kazakhstan to Release Aussie Uyghur Prisoner

Following on from my last post regarding the Australian citizen Noorpolat Abdulla who is in a Kazakhstan jail serving a fifteen year sentence on vague terrorism charges the World Uygur Congress has called upon the Kazakh government for his immediate release as well as urging Australian authorities to apply more pressure to pursue it's citizen's rights.

The World Uygur Congress (WUC) which is a congress of various Uygur expatriate organisations world wide and is led by Erkin Alptekin in his position as President of WUC.

Alptekin is well known among Uygurs as being the son of one of the ministers in the East Turkistan Republic that held short control over 25% of Xinjiang in the 1940's prior to the Communist takeover. In his own right he has been a life long campaigner for human rights for his people and is generally held in high esteem by expatriate Uygurs world wide.

The WUC press release cites an article run recently in Asia Times Online in which Stephen Blank, professor of Strategic Studies Institute at U.S. Army War College, said,
"At present there is little doubt that doing everything possible to consolidate Beijing's hold over XUAR is one of the drivers of Chinese policy in all dimensions in Central Asia. Thus increasing amounts of bilateral military assistance are going to these states and the signs of coordination in intelligence on terrorism are multiplying as they crack down on Uyghur movements in their homelands to retain China's friendship. Indeed, for Beijing such crackdowns have increasingly become preconditions for any kind of friendly relationship with Central Asian states and the provision of desperately needed aid."

According to Alim Seytoff, Chairman for the Executive Committee of WUC and a leader of the Uyghur American Association (UAA)
"This is probably one of the main reasons why Kazakhstan denied Noorpolat Abdulla Australian consular representation and tried him in a closed court in order to hide its failure to produce any hard evidence against him. This kind of Soviet-style secret trial does not conform to international standard, which justifies his conviction."

It is obvious at the very least that Noorpolat Abdulla received a very heavy sentence based on what is the known evidence in his case. It is also obvious that Australia has failed it's citizen in not more strongly advocating his basic rights to an open and fair trial and the failure to demand Australian Consular access to one of her citizens.

Australia has been low key on this case because of two reasons: one, Abdulla's trial coming so close after "9/11" led Australia to support any aspects of the "War on Terrorism" in the belief that being Muslim equates with being a terrorist and two because of her sycophantic vestige interests in maintaining cordial relations with China with a view to increasing her very positive trade relations with that country.

I call upon the Honorable John Howard, prime minister of Australia, to open an enquiry into the Australian Foreign Affairs Department's handling of this case concerning one of our citizens at the hands of the Kazakhstan government and to actively pursue the re-opening of this case with full public disclosure.

Uyghur American Association Forum :: Uyghur American Association :: The World Uyghur Congress Calls on Kazakhstan to Release Uyghur Prisoner