An Eyewitness’ Accounts on July 2014 Yarkant Massacre

Prepared by Torchlight Uyghur Group

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A massive killing or massacre took place in Yarkand County of East Turkestan on 28 July 2014. In the massacre, the Chinese armed police killed an unknown number of Uyghurs residing in four different villages, including women, children and old people. Chinese government reported that 59 uprisers and 37 innocent people were killed in the “uprising”. Associated Press reported the number “far exceeds what the government has reported” (reference below). A local Uyghur farmer, Yusup, told AP that more than 1,000 Uyghurs disappeared after this incident, and World Uyghur Congress president Rebiya Kadeer said more than 2,000 people were killed in this massacre. The eyewitness whose accounts in an interview are presented in this report put the number of dead and missing to be more than 3,000.

Guo Wengui  is a Chinese billionaire businessman who later became a political activist. He controls Beijing Zenith Holdings (via proxies Li Lin and Jiang Yuehua) and other assets. At the peak of his career, he was the 73rd richest person in China. Since January 23, 2017, Guo has accepted multiple interviews with media, such as Mingjing, VOA and BBC. In a lecture he distributed in Youtube, he said the following regarding this Yarkand massacre:

“Comrade Mengjianzhu, I know your vices are women and booze. You played with so many young Uighur girls in Xinjiang. Please answer Mr Mengjianzhu, how many people did you killed in Xinjiang?

Majian (former deputy minister of Homeland Security) told me that to celebrate your new position as Minister of Public Security, you ordered the killing of more than 1000 Uighurs under the pretext of a crackdown on terror. How many people did you bury in Xinjiang?

That is unimaginable evil. Do you think I’m not aware of the dispute between you and Zhang Chun Xian (former party head of Xinjiang)? Don’t I know what Zhang Chun Xian says about you? Don’t I know what you did against Zhan Chun Xian? I know every detail of your activities in Xinjiang.”

“I always want to talk about Xinjiang. As you know, the former deputy minister of Homeland Security Majian was in charge of Xinjiang. There are so many events you don’t know of. I have seen many videos about Xinjiang. The miserable people of Xinjaing lead a life of suffering. I can’t describe how pitiful it is. The number of deaths unaccounted for are increadibly high. You don’t’ have access to information about it…crowds of people were buried one after another. How could you know about this? Xinjiang is a hell, a hell 24 hours a day, 360 days a year. It is a frightening tragedy.”

The truths about what has really happened in East Turkestan in the past are extremely hard to come by. The reason is, the Chinese government sageguards such information by all means and with extreme care. That is the case with Yarkand massacre also. We managed to obtain the transcript of an interview between an Uyghur activitist and an eyewitness of the Yarkand massacre, and translated it to English. We deteled some content of the transcript that is not related to the Yarkand massacre, but kept the other part as it is.

Interviewer Introduction

Dear readers, our motherland, East Turkestan, is groaning in pain under the systematic oppression enforced by the Chinese transgressors. China is heavily violating the human rights of the Uyghur people in our motherland and turned our homeland into an open prison. Our country, East Turkestan, is belong to us and inherited from our forefathers and our ancestors, who have created a proud history in this beloved soil with their countless sacrifices. Unfortunately, today, with the inhumane crimes of the Chinese communists, our homeland became an ocean of bloodshed. Our East Turkestan is bleeding and the Uyghurs are shedding their tears every day! No! In fact, our Uyghur people are shedding blood instead of tears. Our land is covered with the blood of the Uyghur people, who are oppressed, humiliated, disgraced, and remained helpless without enjoying any rights of humans. However, we will continue our righteous struggles together with all the people, who have similar fate of being oppressed and fight against dictatorship, state terrorism, and merciless suppression around the world. Our struggles for freedom and liberty will last forever. We believe that justice will eventually overcome injustice!

Dear compatriots, a shocking and mysterious incident took place in Yarkand County of East Turkestan in 2014. This massacre was known as “Yarkend Elishqu (it is called as Ailixihu in Chinese pin-yin) incident”. Since that massacre happened, very similar news was spread through different media outlets all around the world. Because of the unstable situations and a constant crisis in the world, people began to forget the incident gradually with the time being. Now, we have had the chance to conduct this interview just before the incident is wiped out from people’s memory since a fellow countryman who was very familiar with the incident contacted us about this event. Through this interview, we also learned a lot of new details about how the incident began, the causes and the process of the uprising, the final procedure of the crackdown, and the numbers of tricks of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) behind the suppression of the incident. Of course, the purpose to have this interview is also to unveil to the international community the violent crimes of the CCP committed against the Uyghur people and the endless suffering of our people. The purpose is to deliver our complaints about the CCP to the global community because only we ourselves can make our own voice heard to the world correctly.

An Eyewitness’ Accounts

The following are the accounts of an eyewitness of July. 2014 Yarkant Massacre. The eyewitness is a male and currently lives abroad.

Just like other places, there were several checkpoints in the village and the time the incident took place was the last day of Ramadan. People mainly prayed at home and mosques at night times. In that night, a crying voice was noticeably high in a house where village women gathered for a prayer. Normally, the checkpoints in villages have more strict security measures than those in towns. So the police arrested the women praying in that house. After the village men learned the news, they went to the police station demanding the authorities to release those women. However, the police not only refused to release the women, but also treated the villagers very rudely. As a result, a friction emerged between the villagers and the police personals, and such a situation lasted all night. According to some details about the friction we heard later, an Uyghur man returned from abroad told the villagers: “We are obliged to fight now because our wives were arrested by the policemen!”

Once the call reached the people in three villages, the people in those villages upraised for resistance, and equipped themselves with whatever they could find, such as axes, adze, knives, and sticks, etc. They took over the control of the villages, and some of them drove their own cars to take control over some strategic points of traffic roads. They blocked the entrances from Urumchi, Yarkand, and Maralbeshi, and started their battle with the Chinese authorities. The villagers got an upper hand in the beginning, attacked the police cars and killed several policement. The head of Dongbagh village was in Elishqu township at the time with an official bisiness. For the reason that the Chinese communists ordered to kill everybody in the siege, the Chinese riot police and army surrounded the villages and killed some number of government official working for the Chinese authorities together with other villagers. The officials who were killed by the Chinese army included the heads of villages and police station staff. According to some witnesses, the dead body of village chief was broken into several parts. The family of the village chief was informed that he was shot dead among the crowd. However, nobody knows for sure that how many Uyghurs and how many Chinese were killed in the conflict.

There was much unofficial news regarding the incident after the Ramadan until the National holiday. The families of government officials who were killed in the conflict received compensation from the government. The amount was reportedly between 600, 000 and one million Chinese yuan. The allocation of the compensation made some families unhappy since the Chinese families received one million yuan when Uyghur families lost their members received 600,000 yuan. In the same incident and in the same duty, the Uyghur families were treated differently from the Chinese families. This is one of the things Uyghur people kept talking for a while.

Let’s come back to the incident. In the night of the day, 28th of July 2014, after the Chinese troops took over the places that the villagers controlled, they killed all the fighters and cleaned up the places. Then they swept into the three villages under the protection of helicopters and tanks. There was an uncultivated land in the west of the three villages. When the Chinese troops were searching the place, some people came out from their homes as they heard the noise of helicopters and they were all shot to death. All the people in the three villages were shot dead, including those who had never participated in the incident. The villages became an empty place without a single person.

After this massacre was over, the local authorities sent some people to clean up the spot. One of them told me what he witnessed during that clean-up. When they were cleaning the spot, an 80 years old women walked toward them. Several soldiers shouted at the old woman to stop and go back. The old woman said she was looking for her grandchild and didn’t stop. The soldiers shot her dead on the spot.

There was a new developing area in Yarkant that is under the construction. It was called the Southern New City. There were no any people living there at that time. According to some unofficial news, the bodies of the villagers that were killed by the Chinese troops were buried somewhere in that Southern New City. This is still a big secret and majority of the nearby residents came to such conclusion because they saw a lot of trucks constantly moving around the Southern New City just after the incident.

My father-in-law told me about this when he was travelling with us. There was such an announcement at the time. Indeed, we saw with our own eyes that the roadsides were filled with armed soldiers. The situation was so dire that it was impossible to stop and observe what was happening, that was not even allowed. It was later revealed by some people who were among those putting down the uprising that the people who were killed were buried in South New District (Jenubi Yengi Sheher) and was paved over by cement. Those military vehicles/trucks that I saw with my own eyes were also covered with fabrics, and we can’t say for certain if there were dead bodies inside or not. However, it was clear that this was kept secret from the whole Uyghur population. Nevertheless, there was a basis for people’s suspicions, and we think that both possibilities – either burying the dead bodies in the brick kiln, or burying them in the South New District – are there. Because no one saw that with his/her own eyes. In reality, if the number of the dead were smaller, there wouldn’t be so much speculations among the people. But, since the number of dead was about 3000 from the 4 towns, and because the dead were not taken care of properly in time, the dead bodies started to decompose and started to smell, which reached the neighboring towns; there were also a lot of bloods on the streets. All these resulted in various speculations among the people. Also, because those who were patrolling the streets were mostly Uyghurs, they ended up revealing some of the secrets to their families and friends, and thus it started to spread among the people. However, because all of those who attended in taking care of the dead bodies were Han Chinese, it was impossible to obtain an exact answer about where exactly those dead bodies were buried.

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