Across China, Security Instead of Celebration

From The Washington Post:

Shortly after dawn on July 9, the local government here bused several thousand students and office workers into a public square and lined them up in front of a vocational school. As the spectators watched, witnesses said, three prisoners were brought out. Then, an execution squad fired rifles at the three point-blank, killing them on the spot.

The young men had been convicted of having connections to terrorist plots, which authorities said were part of a campaign aimed at disrupting the Beijing Olympics by the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, an underground separatist organization here in the vast region of western China. The group has long fought for independence on behalf of the region’s Muslim Uighur inhabitants.

The public execution of the men was a dramatic example of the massive, unforgiving security operation that has been mounted in China to protect the Beijing Games from what Communist Party authorities describe as an urgent threat of violence and anti-government protest.

“Especially as the Beijing Olympic Games draw near, a range of anti-China forces and hostile forces are striving by any means and redoubling efforts to engage in trouble-making and sabotage,” Yang Huanning, a vice minister of public security and an anti- specialist, said in a declaration to the Public Security Bureau’s newspaper.

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