Dutch protesters march for minority rights in China

2nd October 2009, Comments 0 comments

About 250 people took part in the protest Thursday in support of Chinese minorities as China celebrates its 60 years of communist rule.

Amsterdam – Hundreds of people demonstrated in central Amsterdam on Thursday in support of Chinese minorities, as 60 years of communist rule were celebrated in Beijing.

"China declares that it respects minorities, but that is not the case," said Gordon Cinco, a spokesman for the Unrepresented Nations and People's Organisation lobby group which organised the protest on behalf of expatriate members of the Uighur ethnic group.

"The situation is very bad" for the Uighurs who live in the Xinjiang region of north-eastern China, Cinco told AFP by telephone.

Organisers said about 300 people took part in the protest, but Amsterdam police put the number at 250.

A Muslim minority speaking a Turkic language, Uighurs claim to have suffered decades of repression under communist rule.

Unrest in Xinjiang between Uighurs and Han Chinese in July -- which China alleges was fomented by Uighur exiles -- left nearly 200 people dead.

China on Thursday celebrated 60 years of communist rule with a massive military parade and elaborate pageantry on Beijing's Tiananmen Square.

AFP / Expatica

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