International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) urges the authorities of Xinjiang
Uyghur Autonomous Region to release all information and
allow journalists to report on the latest deadly clash between policemen and
rioters on July 18.
to state-owned news agency Xinhua reports, a group of rioters carrying
explosive devices and grenades stormed a police station in Hotan, Xinjiang
Uyghur Autonomous Region on July 18. A policeman, a security guard and two
hostages were killed before armed police officers shot several of the
individuals dead that afternoon. The reports did not mention the cause of the incident.
number of deaths was increased to 14 on July 19, according to Global Times, the English-language sister
website of People’s Daily, the
official newspaper of the Communist Party of China. The report also said regional
information office chief Hou Hanmin reiterated concrete evidence had already
indicated that it was an organised attack by well-armed terrorists.
assault was clearly targeted. The attackers hurt two people with knives in
nearby government offices and headed to the police station right after that.
…They took hostages during their attack so as to raise tensions.”
contrast to the reports, the Germany-based World Uyghur Congress said the
attack was in retaliation to police attempts to clampdown on a peaceful
demonstration outside a building.
a statement, the Congress said that more than 100
local Uyghurs peacefully gathered to protest a police crackdown imposed in the Nurbagh
area in place for the last two weeks.
“Demonstrators gathered and demanded to know the whereabouts of
relatives who had gone missing into police custody,” the statement said.
“Police opened fire on the demonstrators, killing at least 20
Another 12 people were injured seriously and more than 70 people
were arrested, the statement said.
All mainland media organisations including media in Xinjiang are
required to republish the Xinhua or Global
Times reports. No independent news reports are allowed.
“We are deeply concerned that the media is restricted from
independently reporting the details of a violent incident – a matter which is
obviously important for people to hear about,” the IFJ
“The IFJ urges the authorities of Xinjiang to allow media to freely
report issues of urgent public concern.”
authorities ordered a blackout of all electronic media and restricted all other
media reports after a deadly riot erupted on July 5, 2009. Official reports
said that a total of 197 people, mostly of Han ethnicity, were killed and 1,600