Uighur leader denies inciting fatal riots in China
WASHINGTON — The exiled leader of a Muslim minority group is denying Chinese government accusations that she incited riots that have left 156 people dead in western China.
Rebiya Kadeer is president of the Uyghur American Association. She has lived in Fairfax, Va., since she was exiled from China in 2005.
Chinese officials have accused her of inciting the deadly violence between the minority Uighur people and ethnic Han Chinese.
In an interview, Kadeer says she only called her family in China to warn them to steer clear of upcoming protests.
She says she learned about the protests from both Uighur and Chinese Web sites and was concerned that her family would be targeted for persecution if members were caught up in them.