China: Provide justice in response to lethal attack on police in Kashgar
In response to reports that an attack on a police station in Kashgar city, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, killed 16 police officers, Amnesty International called on the Chinese authorities to ensure that they conduct a full, immediate and impartial investigation of this incident.
The Chinese authorities have a right to protect the life and security of their law enforcement officials. However, attacks such as these should not be used to justify the promotion or implementation of repressive or abusive security measures.
In the interests of upholding the rule of law and protecting human rights, any suspects must be afforded due process in conformity with international law. They must be given prompt access to their families, as well as lawyers and doctors. Any trials should be held in open court.
China’s state media reported that at around 8am today, two men drove a lorry into a group of police officers jogging outside their division yard in Kashgar (Ch:Kashi). Fourteen police officers were killed on the spot and two others died on the way to hospital. The attackers then reportedly threw home-made grenades into the police barracks and hacked other police officers with knives.
According to state media, the two assailants were later arrested. So far their identity is unclear and no particular group has claimed responsibility. Local police claimed that the incident was a suspected terrorist attack and that a group called the “East Turkestan Islamic Movement” (ETIM) planned such attacks in the week prior to the Beijing Olympic Games.
Amnesty International cannot independently verify these claims.