Xinjiang offers rewards after deadliest unrest in four years
China announced rewards of up to 100,000 yuan (HK$126,542) on Tuesday for information leading the arrest of those responsible for the deadliest violence in four years in the vast far-western region of Xinjiang, dominated by Muslim Uygurs.
The announcement by authorities in Xinjiang came less than a week after a marauding gang staged a series of attacks in a Xinjiang township that killed 35 people.
China says that the attacks were carried out by a gang engaged in “religious extremist activities”. Beijing has traditionally blamed violence in Xinjiang on Islamic separatists who want to establish an independent state of “East Turkestan”.
Many Uygurs in Xinjiang resent what they call Chinese government suppression of their culture, language and religion.
About 100 Uygurs had gone to Syria to fight alongside Syrian rebels, with some of them returning to Xinjiang to carry out attacks in support of an East Turkestan, the Global Times, a tabloid owned by the Communist Party mouthpiece, the People’s Daily, said on Tuesday.
The rewards announced on Tuesday are “for those who provide clues of violent terrorist crimes, and those who play an important role in the solving violent terrorist crimes and the capturing of violent terrorist criminals,” according to the Xinjiang government website.
Those who failed to report information or who assisted such criminals would be held criminally responsible, the announcement said.