Joanna Lillis, Transitions Online
Thousands of Uighurs protest in Almaty over China’s crackdown, while Astana treads carefully.
ALMATY | Kazakhstan’s commercial capital, Almaty, is normally a sleepy place on a mid-summer weekend, slumbering beneath the snow-capped peaks of the Tian Shan. One sultry Sunday morning in July, though, the mood was different as events 900 kilometers to the east brought thousands of people together here in an outpouring of grief and anger. These were some of the hundreds of thousands of ethnic Uighurs, a people of Turkic origin, living in this Central Asian republic bordering China, and they had gathered for an impassioned protest against deadly clashes in Xinjiang earlier in July that left at least 197 people dead.
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Solidarity and Rage