Reports on lectures in Shimane
Amnesty International Speaking Tour 2007
We are not 'terrorists' - 'Anti-terrorism' war and Human-rights in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
Report on a lecture by Ms. Rabiye Kadeer bookmark
I attended the lecture by Ms. Rabiye in Matsue yesterday.
I arrived in the Matsue Estic Building at 1 o'clock, 30 minutes before the starting session.
I entered the hall and look around but there were few people. The hall was small and it seemed to be fit for 50 people or so. As there was plenty of time, I booked a seat and left the hall.
I was standing outside waiting for the time for the lecture and I saw Ms. Rabiye walking towards me! I immediately recognized her because I had seen her on photos.
I rushed to her and asked for the shake hands. It moved my heart when she smiled and shook my hand.
As it was time for the starting session I entered the hall and I saw around 30 people inside though 1/3 seemed to be people from Amnesty.
I suppose the number of people gathered is just as well for the Shimane, where less people live. Actually I was surprised with the number as I was expecting less.
A person from Amnesty introduced Ms. Rabiye to us.
Then the long-awaited lecture started.
It was just amazing. Though it was through interpreter, I could tell the pain and the determination she had by her _expression.
She sometimes shed tears and I was touched by the lecture. I recommend you to attend one if you live near the lecturing place.
Firstly she told us the difficult path she has gone through. It was just horrific.
Then she moved on to the current situation of East Turkistan.
After the invasion of Chinese Communist Party, everything, including spoken language, religion, publication, travel and family planning, was restricted. The development of East Turkistan is held back. Generally a nation is developing constantly, but East Turkistan is not developing but repressing.
A number of wealthy people, scholars and clergies were being arrested, imprisoned for life or executed without a proper trial. And it is not a past story but it is still going on at this moment.
Assimilation has been carried out and hundreds of thousands of young females are moved to inland China. If it continues, the ratio of Uyghur in East Turkistan will reduce and Han will take over the place. 90% of people are already assimilated in Inner Mongolia.
Ms. Rabiye joined Communist party and had the key position believing wealth would improve China. Then she explained the situation of East Turkistan and requested the improvement directly to the Chinese government. Communist party induced her to comment 'Those people were arrested because they were criminals' about the political criminals who were actually innocent by putting pressure on her. She protested and lost all her positions.
She was arrested after that and imprisoned for 6 years. During the imprisonment, she stayed in a dark room without seeing anyone, talking or writing.
She was released by the support from Amnesty and other organizations and moved to US. Though Ms. Rabiye was able to exile herself, a number of Uyghurs back there are under suppression and 2 of her children are arrested and 3 are under monitor.
And it is not only the Chinese Communist party who is demonstrating the suppression.
Chinese Communist party puts pressure on neighboring nations to return the Uyghurs who flee to the countries. Huge number of Uyghurs were deported to China especially from the members of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan).
The deported people are tried in a few minutes trials, tortured and treated wrongly.
Ms. Rabiye has been appealing the situation of East Turkistan in US and it resulted in having the the Uyghur human right issue resolutions adopted. It is not only in US but EU is also taking vigorous actions.
To conclude the lecture, Ms. Rabiye told us the reason why she visited Japan.
Ms.Rabiye is not demanding for the independence. She said she wanted young people in Japan to know the situation of East Turkistan and concern about the human rights issues.
She also wants the Japanese government to put pressure on China on East Turkistan issue and the Japanese enterprises to hire more Uyghurs.
There was a explanation on nuclear test in East Turkistan.
Chinese Communist party's official report says that the number of atomic bomb victims is 700,000 but there are more victims than that.
After that one person from Amnesty made a comment by putting Empire of Japan invading Manchuria and Chinese communist and I couldn't help laughing yet the representative stared at me.
That was about it in Shimane.
Lecture and discussion lasted 2 and a half hours, but personally I wanted to listen to more stories about East Turkistan.
From voices and expressions of Ms. Rabiye, I could tell her intention.
I wanted to respond to her call for support.
Ms. Rabiye said Japan is the utmost democratic nation in Asia and it is also powerful. From that voice, I could feel her expectation for Japan.
We Japanese have the power of empathy as well as the power of the economy.
We should support East Turkistan with those power. By supporting Ms. Rabiye and bring up the East Turkistan issues, the world will be paying more attention to the Uyghurs and their situation.
Though China is a big country, she can't fight with the whole world by herself.
I hope Ms. Rabiye's visits to Japan will help the awareness of East Turkistan in Japan increase.