10,000 Uighurs disappeared, leader claims

Exiled leader says Chinese officials deployed “snatch squads”

Rebiya Kadeer, head of the World Uighur Congress, says 10,000 of her people are missing after riots earlier this month in the Xinjiang region of China. She claims the Chinese government deployed “snatch squads” that kidnapped or arrested thousands of Uighurs in one night during a clash with Han Chinese. Government officials say only 1,687 people have been arrested. They also blame Kadeer for inciting the July 5th riots, which started after police tried to break up protests over the deaths of Uighur workers at the hands of Han colleagues. Kadeer says the government used the protests as an excuse to crackdown on Uighurs vying for an independent state.