East Turkistan: Refugees May Get Asylum in Cambodia
The Cambodian government is considering the granting of asylum to refugees from East Turkistan. Twenty-two people, including two small children have fled China via Vietnam to Cambodia. These ethic Uyghurs have fled the People's Republic of China following the deadly confrontations in East Turkistan or the Xinjiang Uyghur Automomous Region last summer. The area is made up predominantly of ethnic Uyghurs that follow the Moslem religion. Since 1949 the area has been increasingly settled by the Han Chinese. Tensions between the two groups have caused violence and property destruction. The Chinese authorities have labelled those who are seeking a more independent East Turkestan as terrorists.
Since the riots in Urumchi, 17 Uyghurs have received the death sentence in China.
The sources said Chinese authorities have detained 31 Uyghurs since Sept. 15 in the southern cities of Shenzhen and Guangzhou and in the central city of Kunming, either for trying to flee the country or for allegedly aiding others in fleeing China.
A Chinese court sentenced three Uyghurs to death Friday for their alleged involvement during the rioting, bringing the number of death sentences in connection with the incident to 17.
New York-based Human Rights Watch said it has documented the disappearances of 43 men and boys in the Xinjiang region, but that the actual number of disappearances is likely far higher.
Police have meanwhile detained more than 700 people in connection with the unrest, according to earlier state news reports.
East Turkistan(Xinjiang Autonomous Region) is rich in natural resources, supplying the PRC with much of its coal and oil. It was also the site for the testing of atomic weapons at Lop Nor.