Victims of and witnesses to terrorist attacks in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region as well as their families shared their personal experiences by making speeches or via pre-recorded videos at the 64th press conference held by Xinjiang on issues related to the region on Dec.13, strongly condemning violent terrorists and expressing firm support for the fight against terrorism and extremism.
During the press conference held both online and offline in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang, five videos were played, which recorded how the “three evil forces” of terrorism, separatism and extremism killed innocent people, attacked government agencies and committed terrorist attacks in China and abroad between 1990 and 2016. The scenes of many crimes of the “three evil forces” were exposed for the very first time.
According to a rough calculation, from 1990 to the end of 2016, the “three evil forces” orchestrated several thousand violent and terrorist cases and incidents in Xinjiang and other regions, killing a large number of innocent people and several hundred policemen and causing inestimable property loss, said Xu Guixiang, a spokesperson with the Xinjiang regional government.
In recent years, by fighting against terrorism and extremism in accordance with the law, Xinjiang has effectively eliminated the breeding ground of terrorism, curbed frequent occurrences of terrorist activities for a certain period and ensured the safety of the lives and property of people of all ethnic groups, winning wide support from the whole society, Xu pointed out.
The Xinjiang-related issues have never been about ethnicity, religion and human rights, but about violent terrorism, radicalization and separatism, noted Xu, adding that the attempt of anti-China forces in the U.S. and other Western countries to stigmatize Xinjiang’s counter-terrorist efforts, label separatism as democracy, politicize human rights issues and justify their interference in affairs of the region will only end up in vain.
The anti-China forces in the U.S. and other Western countries have maliciously misrepresented Xinjiang’s just actions to combat terrorism and extremism in accordance with the law for the purpose of protecting the basic human rights of people of all ethnic groups, including the rights to survival and development, as “genocide”, which is without doubt one of the worst cases of slander in human history, according to Xu.
Their wicked, despicable and sordid deed has been strong condemned and opposed by Xinjiang’s 25 million residents of all ethnic groups, Xu added.
“On Sept. 18, 2015, my father was brutally killed by a gang of violent terrorists,” said Ajigul Turhun at the press conference, with her eyes filled with tears. Her father, a kind and warmhearted herdsman, died when helping local policemen arrest terrorists in the 9·18 Baicheng Serious Violent Terrorist Attacks in 2015.
“Terrorists have no humanity and care little about human life. If they try to stir up trouble again, I will also fight against them bravely, just like my father did,” she added.
Zhang Jianguo, a victim of the 2·25 Urumqi Serial Bus Bombings in 1997, was so angry when he recalled the tragedy happened on the bus he was taking. “I suddenly heard a bang, and the next thing I knew—the bus window was broken, the windshield was blown off, the backdoor was gone, and a lot of people were lying on the ground,” Zhang recalled.
“I resent terrorists who planted those bombs. They destroyed our happy life and deserve to be punished severely,” Zhang said.
Alimjan Mattohti, a witness to the 7·5 Urumqi Egregious Violent Terrorist Attacks in 2009, said that he was heartbroken when he saw thugs chase and beat innocent people and heard the anguished cries of those victims, including an emergency medicine physician who was on his way back to the hospital to save people.
“I detest religious extremists who distort doctrines and manipulate religion to cause ethnic separation and incite violent and terrorist activities. People of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang will never let violent terrorists have their way in undermining ethnic unity, endangering social stability, and splitting the country,” he said.
“I hate those violent terrorists and sincerely hope that the tragedy I’ve experienced will never happen again,” said Li Faling, a victim of the 2·5 Urumqi Violent Terrorist Attacks in 1992. Nearly 30 years have passed since she was injured in a bus explosion in Urumqi, yet there are still four pieces of shrapnel in her legs.
“To us ordinary people, safety is the greatest happiness. There have been no cases of violence and terrorism in Xinjiang for five consecutive years. We have actually gained an unprecedented sense of security, and we really appreciate and cherish it,” she added.
Dilshat Asan, a witness to the 6·29 Hotan Attempted Plane Hijack in 2012, remembers how the crew and passengers risked their lives to fight against the hijackers, thus avoiding worse attacks.
“After the plane landed safely, the crew members and passengers burst into tears and shouted ‘We did it!’” recalled Asan, who is still overcome with emotion when talking about the incident.
“Can you imagine how many families would have lost their loved ones if the hijackers had got their way? Don’t they have wives and children of their own?” Asan said.
Xinjiang hasn’t seen violence and terrorism cases for five consecutive years, which has been the greatest desire and expectation of people of all ethnic groups in the region, he pointed out, adding that he hopes that such terrorist attacks will never happen again.
“Who has actually destabilized Xinjiang? Who has violated Xinjiang people’s human rights? Who has committed genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang? Who should be brought to trial for such crimes? I believe every individual with a sense of justice can give correct answers to these questions,” Xu said.