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Woman behind Xinjiang riot caught self-contradictory

DENYING their role in the bloodbath in Urumqi that killed 156, a woman in exile and her Washington D.C.-based organization were busy before and after the tragic killings.

Rebiya Kadeer, 62, chairwoman of the World Uygur Congress (WUC) that has close contact with terrorist organizations, was found making phone calls before the riot to her brother in Xinjiang to "predict" that "something big would happen." And after the riot, she was busy meeting the international press.

But very too often, Kadeer was caught self-contradictory when making accusations against the Chinese government and disseminating "unconfirmed" reports from anonymous sources.

While repeatedly grumbling about the government's shutdown on telephone lines and Internet access and soliciting international pressure for transparency, she boldly asserted "hundreds of Uygurs are now dead" based on her alleged contacts from capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

One significant source of her is "within East Turkestan," a hotbed of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) which was listed in 2002 by the US State Department as a terrorist organization. And the WUC was formed by two organizations, one of which was the Uygur Youth Congress, also labeled a terrorist organization.

In a Tuesday interview with Al Jazeera, Kadeer showed a testimonial photo which purported to show "peaceful Uygur protesters" in Urumqi and how they were treated by the police. The photo was later found to be cropped from a Chinese news website image on an unrelated June 26 protest in Shishou, Hubei Province.

Another enlarged photo held by members of the World Uygur Congress in front of the Chinese Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, after the riot to expose street violence, however, was just a traffic accident scene from May 15 thousands of kilometers away in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province.

The WUC and Kadeer should have been very meticulous about such important image "evidence" intended to accuse the Chinese government of "rampant atrocity."

Besides these, the WUC went on to author a lengthy opinion piece with Kadeer bylined on the Wall Street Journal in English on July 8, criticizing the rule of the central government in Xinjiang and appealing to outside forces to intervene in this domestic issue.

Just as they could have expected, the article became an instant hit. But to their dismay, they were also exposed to the scrutiny of millions of international readers.

One of the nearly 100 comments posted on the newspaper's webpage found that the accusation against China's ethnic policy does not hold water at all, because Kadeer has been one of the primary beneficiary of the policy itself, and her past was, paradoxically, something of an American dream, albeit played out in China.

Kadeer built her business empire within just one decade, from stall-keeper to millionaire. She was once comfortable with participating in the governmental establishment that she later harshly criticized. She enjoyed the celebrity status of being the richest Uygur woman and served a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

A post by "Benchi Sun" said that the fact that she had 11 children (others said 6) confirms that Uygurs are not subject to China's one child policy; her life story in China proves that Uygurs in China are not excluded from political life, nor deprived of the opportunity to thrive economically.

The World Uygur Congress, of which Kadeer is president, also urged Uygurs, many having connections with the ETIM, in cities across the world to attack Chinese embassies and consulates. Four violent Uyghur protesters who pelted stones on the Chinese embassy in The Hague on Monday have been sentenced to one week in prison, Dutch media reported Thursday.

While eulogizing the U.S. as having "always spoken out on behalf of the oppressed," Kadeer urged the country, in the Wall Street Journal article, to intervene.

However, Kadeer was quickly reminded by another post entry that she had been arrested in China "because she provided funding to Eastern Turkestan and carried out activities in China following instructions from Eastern Turkestan," which is labeled a terrorist organization by most countries including the United States, Russia and China.

The discredited Kadeer surely loves the spotlight and photo-op, but she should also bear in mind that greater publicity may do her more harm than good, if she keeps telling lies.


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