Frontline World

React

China - Silenced

 

 

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Anonymous - Oregon
I appreciated the heart in this story. As an American who has taught in Northwestern China, I have Chinese and Uighur friends. I visited Xinjiang twice and loved it. The Uighur people are amazingly genuine and fun loving. However, I too was saddened to hear stories of how the Uighur people are in discreet ways being persecuted and treated unjustly. China is subtly attempting to assimilate Uighurs into its own culture (by not allowing the Uighur language to be taught in schools, for example). I read another response to this story from an American in California who taught last summer in a school in Urumqi and who mentioned there were Uighur children at a very prestigious English school. While I was in Xinjiang, I noticed that educational opportunities for Uighurs to "get ahead" came at the great cost of losing much of their culture and language; it's almost as if the Chinese are saying "It's OK to be Uighur by blood, as long as you speak and think Chinese." To me, this is deeply disturbing, and could lead to a dying culture.
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Rachel Rodriguez - Washington, D. C.
I want to thank Serene for her courage to present this story. I was very moved by Dilkex's story and think it's important more stories like this are produced. Today, reporters are often criticized for taking the initiative to "get the story." In this case, Serene has given a voice to a community that would otherwise have none, and she is to be commended. Until I saw this program, I was unaware of the conditions the Uighur people were living under. I hope you will update Dilkex's story. My thoughts have been with him since I saw the story. Keep up the good work!
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Intizar
Thanks to Ms.Fang for her great work and revealing the true facts about Uyghurs and how they are treated under Chinese Communist Regime. You should never feel sorry for what you have done. The people, as you see and will see, are very grateful for your courageous job.
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Anonymous - Europe
First I thank Ms. Fang who reported the real aspect of our region; I just came from there to Europe for studying and I know very clearly how is our life in there, just life of dog; but even here I can't speak out because we have many Chinese here, I am afraid of that there's someone who works espionage. I don't know how to do, how to help my people.
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Nancy Renick - Louisville, Kentucky
The program from the journalists reporting from difficult places was terrific. I had never heard of the Uighers and have since started to learn more. I wondered if there was any update on the man imprisoned in China for talking to the reporter.
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FRONTLINE/World responds:
Thank you for your interest. So far we have not been able to learn more about the fate of Dilkex Tilivaldi. Uighur groups are urging concerned people to contact the Chinese embassy in Washington, or the Chinese consulate in their city, to request information about Mr. Tilivaldi.

The address for the Chinese Ambassador to the United States:

Ambassador Yang Jiechi
Chinese Embassy
2300 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D. C. 20008

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Kuresh - Midwest
I personally believe that Serene Fang has done a very good job. The story is simple but it is the vivid description of the Uyghur people's lives in China...I blame the Chinese government because of its repressive policy. As one of the Uyghur people, I believe that every reporter or media should bring the truth about the Uyghur people if they can and let the Uyghurs voice to be heard. We want our voice to be heard and we want the international community to take an action.

I appreciate Frontline, especially, Ms. Fang as she took a risk to cover the story of the Uyghur people. We want more and more people to take an interest in the Uyghur matter. I do not only feel a pain for Dilkex but I also feel the pain for thousands of Uyghur people who are innocently arrested and executed by the Chinese government. In fact, Ms. Fang did not only point out the Chinese discrimination against the Uyghur people but she pointed out a very important issue. She said the government would only repeat these words, "terrorists" "separtists".

Thank you, Ms. Fang and Frontline. Do not ever regret about your report!
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Anonymous - Stanford, California
I think she [Serene] could have been more careful. But what's happened has happened, we can only try our best to get this guy out.
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Anonymous - Beijing, China
Hindsight, of course, is 20/20 but I also wonder if the Frontline World editors gave every consideration to protecting Dikex Tilivaldi. Though the Frontline audience, and perhaps even its editors, may be unfamiliar with the situation in Xinjiang, many journalists and experts working in China are. I am one of them. One only need to look at China's recent treatment of journalists and restrictions on speech to realize that Frontline World was playing with fire when they sent Serene Fang to Xinjiang to conduct clandestine interviews with the Uighur population. It seems especially nave that there was any surprise about the reporter being so closely monitored by Chinese police. There are risks we take as journalists in telling the story. There also is the ethical dilemma we face when we put sources at risk for a story. But it seems that when it comes down to a choice between endangering the life of another person to get the story or not getting a story at all, we will always opt for the former and deal with the consequences as them come. It is easy to hide behind the reason: It is our job to report. But there are other reasons: a reporter's ambition, competition in the news industry. It shouldn't mean that we don't take every precaution in protecting our sources, rather than simply using them for the sake of a story. This is the job of editors. More could have been done to protect your source. Your reporter mentions that Dikex Tilivaldi was getting ready to leave for Turkey. Couldn't the interview have been conducted there, or in a safer environment? The reporter knew that she was being monitored (the checkpoint at the Kazakhstan border). She knew that Dikex was preparing to leave the country because it had become unsafe for him. She knew he had doubts about the interview location. And he was terrified. Perhaps it is a measure of the reporter's inexperience in these conditions that the interview went ahead. (A graduate degree and knowledge of Cantonese, spoken in Hong Kong, in my opinion, is not enough.-And it seems that all of your reporters are fresh from Berkeley.) Hindsight is indeed 20/20. It is the role of journalism to build awareness, but I wonder if a story on the Uighur issue could have been accomplished without endangering the life of a man. There are other sources, after all. And although the story may have succeeded in changing the perceptions of some American viewers, it will not change the situation in China. Of course Uighurs deserve the right to speak freely, so does the rest of the Chinese population and the native journalists who are continually persecuted here. But did the life of a man have to be endangered to make that point? Was it worth the risk?
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FRONTLINE/World responds:
We have addressed most of your questions elsewhere in these Reacts, but we take these issues very seriously, so let us elaborate, especially since you write us from Beijing. The important thing to keep in mind is that Mr. Dilkex Tilivaldi agreed to be interviewed and went to considerable effort to make certain that the interview took place, at his request, in Xinjiang. He obviously wanted to speak and he had every right to do so. We took precautions. We were well aware of the risks. But we also made an editorial decision not to ignore this story. To have turned away from the Uighur story would have been to ignore our duty as journalists. As editors we have made similar decisions in covering neglected, hard-to-report stories in Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Philippines, to name a few very risky countries where we have done stories. We can assure you that "reporter's ambition," as you put it, had absolutely nothing to do with our collaborative decision to go forward with the story. Furthermore, when Mr. Tilivaldi arrived that second time for the on camera interview he seemed confident and eager to talk. He had made his decision.

Of course, we are constantly weighing the risks to our sources and our own reporters, and we will continue to agonize about the decisions we make. And unlike more traditional news organizations, we are willing to be more transparent about our process of reporting and the dilemmas we face. Finally, we are very proud of our reporters who have come out of UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism, including Ms. Fang who had visited Xinjiang previously and had reported from China before. We will continue to feature their student work on our Web site in our Fellows program and to occasionally broadcast their truly exceptional work on our television series. But for your information, most of the producers for the FRONTLINE/World television series are seasoned veterans, and most of the reporters we work with are from the New York Times, the BBC, NPR, Public Radio International, CNN, the CBC, the New Yorker, the Center for Investigative Reporting, and Frontline itself.
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Walter - Honolulu, Hawaii
Ms. Fang is a brave reporter...
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Tim Allen - New York, New York
In China people don't have the luxury of speaking freely on sensitive topics. Since you know China forbids independent reporting, you should not have conducted such reporting, simply for the safety of someone else. It is your responsibility to obey the local regulations when you travel around, don't assume American standard is the standard of the world!

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Anonymous - Antioch, California
We spent the month of July 04 teaching American English in an up-scale middle school in Urumqi, Xinjiang. All Han Chinese students and a few lucky Uigher students. However, we did notice that the two groups got along quite well. One Uigher boy (about 14 years old) explicitly told me that "I'm a Uigher boy" right in the front of the class. I smiled and said that your English is quite good. Politics have not yet affected the young Han Chinese and apparently, young Uighers are proud of their standing in a Chinese society.
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Almas Wala - Hilsinke, Tapire, Finland
After I read this story I cannot control myself and feel very sad. It is difficult to be a Uyghur.
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Andrew Spurrier
This is a very informative piece of reportage. More important than expressions of opinion about the plight of the Uighurs, however, is the situation of the man who was arrested. What efforts have been made to press the Chinese authorities for information about his whereabouts and condition? What can we who have seen the video do to help? This matter should not be allowed to rest.
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FRONTLINE/World responds:
Many viewers have expressed concern about the fate of Sitiwaldi "Dilkex" Tilivaldi, who was arrested after doing an interview with our reporter Serene Fang, and asked what they might do to help him. We share your concern. In her interview on this Web site, Ms. Fang describes what she has been doing on behalf of Mr. Tilivaldi. As soon as Chinese authorities released her, she immediately contacted the U.S. embassy in Beijing. She has spoken with the U.S. State Department and pursued a number of official and unofficial contacts in China seeking to find out where Mr. Tilivaldi is being held and on what charges. She has also contacted human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch, Human Rights in China, the Laogai Research Foundation and the Dui Hua Foundation.

"Initially, I thought it was best to try quiet diplomacy," says Ms. Fang. "To make requests through government agencies and foundations, to let the Chinese authorities know that Dilkex would not be forgotten and that people in the international community care about his well-being."

Uighur groups have told Ms. Fang that if people want to help, they can write a letter or phone the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C., to express their concern about Dilkex Tilivaldi's welfare and to request information about his status. Or people can contact members of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus and request that a letter be sent to the Chinese Embassy on Dilkex's behalf.
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Mara Pemberton - Eureka, California
Thank you for the story on the Uighur people in China. Until Frontline /World brings such a story on strife for freedom and human rights, [we] in America [would not know about it]. ... Were it not for the attack on 9/11/200l, I don't think the world would have been told about the conflicts in the Muslim world and how many Arab and Muslim countries suppress the plight of their people.

Thanks for the Frontline/World.
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Eunice Koch - Ventura, California
I, too, was saddened by this story. What was gained by devulging his name in the end? Is trying to get information a worthy cause when the party is thus endangered?
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FRONTLINE/World responds:
As reporter Serene Fang says in the story, by publishing his name -- Sitiwaldi "Dilkex" Tilivaldi -- she hopes to bring attention to his case. The Chinese government has not responded to private inquiries. We believe his case needs to be made public. We also believe it was important to tell the story of the Uighur people and raise the vital human rights issues involved. Mr. Tilivaldi made a deliberate effort to tell his story to us. We think he had every right to do so.
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Anonymous - Indianapolis, Indiana
Serene Fang's story is grossly one-sided. The other side was not given a chance to speak. Serene Fang herself became part of the story as well, how could she report the story impartially? Impossible! It looks more like propaganda than objective journalism. I hope that PBS doesn't turn to another Fox News.

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Uyghur - Midwest, United States
First, I would like to thank Serene Fang and PBS. As a Uyghur person, I encourage more and more journalists and media should do as much reports as they can about East Turkistan and the current lives of the Uyghur people. At the same time, Serene, you should not regret about what you have done and feel sorry about it. Yes, it is very said to see the tragedy about Dilkex Tilivaldi and he chose to pay that price as he cares about his people's situation. The story was short and does not really go into depths but it is a very vivid image of the current situation of the Uyghur people in East Turkistan the oppressive policy of the Chinese government. There are millions and millions of Uyghurs who live in fear and who live under the terroristic and horrifying government and yet no one is speaking out about it. Why? Because they know that they would end up at the horrible Chinese gutters (prisons). As I was watching the story, I could not hold myself crying and I was not only crying for Dilkex and I am crying for every Uyghur person who living in that terrible situation. So far, I mostly blamed the Chinese government and try to not hate the Chinese people. But can you do that really? Is there any chance? Not really. Why? As you can see in the video the Chinese taxi driver who used to be in the army insulted the Uyghur people in the video. He said," the Uyghurs do not eat pork because their ancestors are pigs!" ... That is not first time I have heard. I have heard many Chinese were saying the same thing and that is the way to insult the Uyghur people.
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JC Paylasop - McClean, Virgina
Thanks for producing such good report on Uighur. I would like to comment that story you reported just one of the thousands of unheard stories of Uighur. Arrest, torture, persecution happen daily.

Uighurs living in America carried a heavy psychological burden in their life by hearing their relatives, their freinds or a story like this. We pray GOD every day to put an end to this darkness in Uighurs life.
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Anonymous - New York, New York
I'm in favor of more autonomy and a sincere government reaction to ease tensions between the two ethnic groups. I believe the benefits of the region should not go to one side. Since Uighurs are citizens of the PRC, the government should ensure the same just treatment among all persons in the country.

However, that is easier said then done. China is still a relatively poor nation that is still, (no matter what anyone says) deeply rooted in the predominantly Han culture and traditions.

Even the U.S. needed a hard-fought civil rights movement in the 50s and 60s. China may go through the same in the future. I do see some more violence in the future, but that is hardly avoidable.
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Amaneuallah Azad - Ashburn, Virginia
I see that you are a person who favors autonomy and also you kinda compared Uygur and Chinese problems to civil right movement in America. However, before you start anything, or compare Uygur and Chinese problems please understand what Uygurs want or need and what is their rights. One thing is Eastern Turkistan was a country not part of China since ancient time or live in harmony with them. The land is Uygur by law of nature and law of UN, so I don't think you should say Chinese should benefit from it equally as Uygurs.

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Stephen Thornton-Taylor - Austin, Texas
I watched this piece last night with amazement. Amazed at the way china continues to equate these people with terrorism. The Uighurs, even by U.S. standards, and that's saying a lot in these times, are known to be involved in a struggle of self-determination. If we consider our own, U.S. independence, proof enough for determining our own future, then the same should be considered for the Uighur people.
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Anonymous - Chicago, IL
First of all, thank PBS and journalist Ms. Fang's hard work for bringing us such a good story. I'm a Han Chinese, but I have great sympathy for the man in the report who as arrested for meeting with an American journalist. However, I don't totally blame what Chinese government is trying to do. The Chinese government is trying to stop those separatists from separating Xinjiang from China. Xinjiang has been part of China for many centuries. I think Chinese government should have dealt with the situation in a more humanity way, a way which respects all human rights of each individual regardless what they have done. On the other hand, more things could have been done by Chinese government to improve the situation, for example, improve their economic situation, do more to preserve their language, culture and etc. Finally, once again I thank you for this story. Even though one report won't be able to change the whole situation, more and more such report will change the world in the future. Keep up the good work!

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Sue W. - Munster, Indiana
The comments made by the person from Chicago are not surprising. What is your opinion about the situation between China & Tibet? Tibetans is NOT Chinese! The culture, language, etc. are different! If a group desires to become a new country (& they are different from the 'ruling elite' who have ruled over them for centuries, why not let them? The Han Chinese rulers are too focused on control & not justice.

We should not have any dealings with ANY Communist country. Why should the US help China's trade by importing the cheap junk that is sent here from that country? Why does China have a valued trading partner status in the first place? Politics! Does anyone really care about the people?
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Anonymous
By reading all of the responses that were made it makes one think can a leopard ever loose its spots. All Han Chinese where ever they maybe in the world always will discreetly support mother land China whether its actions can be justified or not. East Turkistan might be a terminology created in recent times well so is Xinjiang its people may not have united under one country title but they did have sovereign states in that land for hundreds even thousands of years they are people with their own culture and language and many other things a civilisation has, they have had until the Chinese started to oppress these peaceful and laid back people. One other comment that was made, Xinjiang has been apart of china for centuries Uygurs should not try to separate the country etc. But history shows us that places like Hong Kong and Macau etc. were under British rule for a very long time how is it you wanted your land back after a such a long time. Hans you should know we are a small number of people but a people determined to see its land free from oppression and robbery of its wealth...

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Amaneuallah Azad - Ashburn, Virginia
To the Han Chinese person without the name: Just question, how do you prove that Eastern Turkistan was part of China since ancient time.

In addition to that, Eastern Turkistan was a democratic country during the 30s until 49. They did have relations with the Soviet, United States, England, Sweden, Turkey and sometimes even with China.
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Pat Turley - Hyattsville, Maryland
Serene Fang did not have to travel to China to find human rights abuse. She should report the FBI abuse of U.S. citizens, like Patrick Knowlton. If she is so outraged that China jails terrorist suspects for 3-5 years, why is there no outrage for the U.S. jailing their terror suspects indefinitely, when they do not have enough evidence to bring charges. Reporter Fang's story about Chinese human rights abuse distracts attention away from human rights abuse by the U.S. government against U.S. citizens. Who does Fang serve, the common people or the powers that abuse them?

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Uyghur Oghli
As an ethnic Uighur living in the United States, I am so grateful to Frontline for producing such an excellent story on Uighurs. I have been a fan of the Frontline for your insightful stories of the people all around the world, however, seeing the story on my people really touched my heart. It is realistic portrait of Uighur life in East Turkestan under Chinese rule. Thanks so very much for Frontline for producing such a touching story on one of the forgotten peoples in the world!
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Anonymous - Normal, Illinois
I believe the silencing of individuals who disagree with China's governmental policy is probably one of the main things that prevent China from being one of the greatest nations in the world. Instead, China is one of the most repressive nations in the world. I pray that changes soon.

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Anonymous - Valencia, Pennsylvania
The price for this story was paid by the reporter, the man who was arrested and his family. I hope the payback will come in the form of freedom to all who are oppressed by the Chinese government. The quick payback is knowledge of the oppression. Perhaps some who would do business with China might at least express some concern for those who are being oppressed and exploited.
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June Rogers - Kansas City, Missouri
Serene, I feel your pain. Dilkex and his family will remain in my prayers. Your strength to pursue rightousness for him, for all of his people and their future freedom. It's people like you who make a difference in this world. God bless. P. S. you should be careful!

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Jeanmarie Brucia - Montpelier, Vermont
Serene Fang's piece hardly contained material for a story, but then it resulted in tragedy for her "informer". For an educated woman, she exhibited extraordinarily poor judgment and no common sense. But the real responsibility for the horror that occurred as a result of her interview lands squarely in the lap of her supervisor. Lapses in judgment are overlooked in the young and inexperienced, which Ms Fang obviously is. Lapses in judgment on the part of her supervisors is unforgivable and warrants someone losing their job for their irresponsibility. A man and his family have had their lives changed forever by this supervisor's lack of professional leadership. The "writing" was clearly "on the wall" concerning the danger this story presented, both to Ms Fang and to anyone she might talk to. Most professions have internships during which young professionals learn to put theory into practice within a supervised environment...the point of this supervised experience is not simply for experience's sake, but t o learn how to put professional standards of practice into day-to-day practice. Doctors, lawyers, accountants, medical personnel, electricians, plumbers, and many other professions require supervised internships so the public is not hurt by poor judgments made by inexperienced young professionals. Ms Fang did not have this leadership and her interviewee and his family are now paying a life changing consequence for it. It isn't enough that Ms Fang feels badly; let every journalism class in the free world learn from her experience!
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FRONTLINE/World responds:
Thank you for your letter. We take these issues very seriously.

We do not agree that our report about the Uighurs "hardly contained material for a story." As other viewers have commented, China's treatment of its Muslim population is an important and underreported story. It's exactly the kind of story we try to bring to the attention of our viewers. If you have not already done so, we urge you to view the longer version of our story on this Web site, read the in-depth interview with Serene Fang, and explore the background information (facts, links) about the growing tensions between the Chinese government and the 8 million Sufi Muslim Uighurs.

Since China forbids independent reporting in Xinjiang province, it is obviously a difficult story to report. There were two risks we as editors had to consider: the risk to our reporter working in a country that doesn't have or value a free press, and the risk to those willing to speak out and get their story heard. In this case, a Uighur man came forward, after much consideration, and decided to tell his story, knowing he was taking a personal risk. In such cases, we are constantly balancing our desire to protect our reporter and her sources against our obligation to learn more about a little-known story involving important human rights issues.

We never tackle a story like this without serious editorial consideration. Before undertaking this story, we consulted widely with American and Chinese scholars and journalists who cover China regularly. We would never send an inexperienced, untrained journalist into a place like Xinjiang. Serene Fang is a talented professional. Though she is young, Serene Fang is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. She now works for NBC News. She speaks fluent Cantonese and had previously traveled to Xinjiang province. She has reported and produced other stories in China. She is very knowledgeable about the particular circumstances in the Uighur area, having researched her story with a range of experts before making her trip.

Journalists covering sensitive stories in repressive regions or countries often meet privately with sources. They take precautions, but there are never any guarantees of safety. Regular viewers of FRONTLINE/World will recall our story last January, "Forbidden Iran," in which our reporter Jane Kokan put herself at risk by interviewing Iranian dissidents clandestinely inside Iran. These dissidents, of course, were also risking their lives. In order to tell this important story, Kokan also chose to enter Iran disguised as a tourist and to film secretly. Kokan was re-tracing the steps of Canadian journalist Zahra Kazemi who was tortured and murdered by Iranian security agents after she attempted to report on the growing opposition movement in Iran. This was an extremely high-risk story, but again we felt, after much debate and discussion, that it was a story which demanded our attention and could not be told unless we took these calculated risks.

At FRONTLINE/World we also try to be more transparent about the actual process of reporting. We tell viewers when we are filming clandestinely, and why we are doing so. In this case, Ms. Fang also revealed her own anguish about what happened to her source, Sitiwaldi "Dilkex" Tilivaldi.

We appreciate and share your concern about the fate of Mr. Tilivaldi, which is why we ultimately decided to name him and bring attention to his case. Mr. Tilivaldi clearly went to great effort to tell his story to us. We believe he had every right to speak, as do other Muslims in China who have been silenced, persecuted and imprisoned. We deeply regret that Chinese authorities chose to arrest him, simply for speaking to a reporter, but we do not regret our decision to produce and broadcast this story.
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Steven Norris - South Pasadena, California
Please forward my compliments and admiration to Serene Fang for her well-done and touching piece on Uighur nationalists. I was moved by her admission that she regretted her decision to interview the Uighur man who was arrested by the Chinese police. As someone who once spent a summer in Eastern Europe supporting persecuted Christians prior to the fall of the Iron Curtain, I understand the risk she took and the cost to the man she interviewed. My prayer is that this piece, now aired on national television in the U.S. will pressure the Chinese government to release Sitiwaldi (Dilkex) Tilivaldi. May his broadcast name bring him release, and may the tide of freedom rise in China. Serene, thank you!

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Anonymous - Vancouver, Canada
Before Fang's story I had a high regard for frontline's unbiased reporting trademark. Fang's story is one-sided, and she is certainly not conversant with Xinjing, Muslim, Islam, and Chinese history.
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Anonymous - Dallas, Texas
To: Serene Fang

Your story was moving and necessary. Don't blame yourself for this man's imprisonment. Until we see the Light, humankind is bound to suffer at the hands of those in government who abuse their rank and power. Without stories like yours, without people speaking out, how else will progress come about? I know Dilkex wants change, so keep trying to raise his story....

We cry with you....
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Frank Shea - Bellevue, Washington
Frontline showed a confusing story to the viewers. Post 9/11, Frontline aired a program with a video footage about a simultaneous bus bombing carried out by the so-called East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) during Urumqi's rush hours in Xinjiang province. Then members of the East Turkestan were caught in Afghanistan fighting alongside Taliban. United States therefore listed the ETIM as a terrorist group. Tonight, Frontline failed to draw the line, and reporter Serene Fang did a very lousy job.
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The following are responses to the moderator question, "Are Uighur nationalists 'terrorists'?"

Marlene Cornick - Baltimore, Maryland
place this one after anonymous from boston (2nd one under responses to moderator question) First of all, this was a program about journalists with global assignments, namely Iraq, Sudan and China. Second, Ms. Fang may tell this story along with other stories. She is not distracting anyone by sharing her experiences. Your anger is directed at the wrong person.

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Memet Tohti - Mississauga, Canada
Uyghurs are most pro-Western Muslims on earth today. They could never be terrorist. Never ever. Long Uyghur history is the history of tolerance and mutual respect since Uyghurs has been a bridge of religious and cultural exchange since beginning of silk road culture. Uyghurs them self have been Buddist, Nestorian Christians, and Muslims during various time frame before they accepted Islam in 10th century. Uyghurs, Kazaks, Kyrgyzs and Mongols with other different ethnic groups are living side by side with respect and accept of their values and believes each other since the long time of the history. Communist China destroyed all.

Now they are trying to create anti-American feeling among the Muslim Uyghurs by using the war on terror to justify their own crackdown on them for their peaceful opposition against China's rule. China is the root of evil. Prof. Dru Gladney says, "Since 2001 there is no single incident happened in East Turkistan, but Government sentenced more than 50 Uyghurs to death in last year alone. by contrast there are more than 3000 real terror incidents happened in mainland China, Government even did not categorize them as terror activities. Uyghurs are not terrorists as China Claimed. They are peaceful people and they are the real victims of Chinese state terrorism.
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Anonymous - Boston, Massachusetts
Certainly there are Uyghur terrorists, just like there are terrorists from every nation. China sent Uyghurs into Afghanistan during the war to thwart Soviet ambitions. The US would not be looking for a third country for the Guantanamo Uyghurs if they thought they were a threat to the US...so they're going to Finland or wherever.

With such a high level of oppression, you can't expect otherwise. It's actually a tribute to Uyghurs that despite the high level of oppression the separatist movement is generally peaceful. and moderate in their Islam...believe it or not, there is more violence in Tibet. But the Uyghurs are Muslim, so the label sticks.

Beijing's treatment of Uyghurs is exhibited perfectly by the cab driver's comment "The Uyghurs come from pigs." That's truly what most Han think, sadly, and so that's how they treat them. What do you do with unfit or disruptive animals? you don't negotiate, etc., you slaughter them.

The U.S. isn't perfect, and neither is its system of handling people who the go v believes are terrorists, but these people a) have access to courts and b) weren't arrested for talking to reporters. there are just too many cases of nonviolent Uyghurs being arrested on "terrorism." Rebiya Kadeer is a good example, read about her from Amnesty International.

Serene Fang knew the risks, and so did her American contact who put her in touch with Dilkex In China. Dilkex certainly knew the risks, and we cannot blame Serene for giving him an opportunity. He wanted to get the truth out, and was willing to take the risk. Bravo to him.

However, I didn't really like the post-modern take on this story. Personally, I don't care how Serene feels about the story. I would have rather heard more about the Uyghurs, China, and human rights abuses.
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Uyghur - Midwest, United States
No. The Uyghurs are not terrorists and the police who arrested the innocent man are the terrorists! The Chinese government that illegally seized land and occupied from the Uyghurs about 5o years ago is the real terrorists. The world must hear about the Chinese government's state sponsored terrorist activities in East Turkistan and in Tibet and it the responsibility of every citizen of the world to protect the rights of everyone including the Uyghurs. The Uyghurs should be free to speak and express their ideas.
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Efran Castillo - Texas City, Texas
No, I don't think Uighurs are "terrorists". I think they would like to be what they can be and do what they would like to do. Overall, I don't think people or any gov't should control other people or countries.

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Nathan Tucker - New York, New York
The real "terrorists" are the communist leaders in Beijing and Urumchi.
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Xioameng Yu - Houston, Texas
Are Uighurs terrorists? How about ask an American the question: are Arabians terrorists? I am afraid the fact that this question is asked is essentially wrong: how could an ethnic group be equal to a group of people that perform certain actions? on the other hand, it is equally wrong to neglect the fact that a small number of Arabians had landed two airplanes intentionally into a building which caused thousands to die, and so did a small number of Uighurs: they bombed Beijing years ago and might hold responsibility for several other terrorism actions in other cities in china.

8 millions! How many 8 millions are there in the United States? If the Chinese government thinks Uighurs are terrorists, how could there still be 8 million walking around alive in Xinjiang, let alone the other provinces in china? If Uighurs are so unanimously determined on independency, how could they still have not yet, with 8 million in that one province and somewhat 20 to one ratio over Hans? And finally, how can one tell which is better for the people as well as the world, that for the Uighurs to stay in china or join the militant Islamics? And why 8 million people is "feeble"? Please, with all due respect, interviewing those political refugees does not make any sense: they deserted their "own people" and stay here because they say what Americans are used to hearing. And for one thing, since when Xinjiang was considered grabbed by the communism party? Xinjiang was a province of the Qing Dynasty since at least three hundred years ago.

There are issues, tons of them, in china. However, sometimes I do wonder when I listen to or watch news, if china was "capitalism" or "democratic" as the rest of the world CLAIM so, would there still be so many negative reports of this already much troubled and injured old nation? Thank you.
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Steve Hebert - Eugene, Oregon
To the question, are these peoples "terrorists"? The story does not discuss the matter...reviewing the additional text and the various links at this website, while somewhat helpful, are inconclusive...my sense is that the Chinese government believes that some of them are, from its '50-year' historical perspective; and, what da ya know, this "belief" supports the concept which 'allows' this government to exploit the natural resources of the region...viewed from the histories of these peoples, they appear to have been bullied for most of the past 2,000 years...viewed from the Eurocentric construct of the United States, these people have been treated far better than the indigenous inhabitants of this North American land have been!! Tis a shame that apparent racism raises its head almost everywhere, and "the other", when weaker than the majority, are so easily dismissed...what a shame...what a loss to all of us... I wonder why this "journalist" put all of these people as such risk? Especially the individuals who assisted her through out her journeys...hopefully, there will be a "happy" ending....

This was a vivid presentation -- thank you for airing it.
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Leif Palmer - Kamuela, Hawaii
The real terrorists are the police who serve the dictatorship in the People's Republic of China. To arrest a person for speaking to a foreigner after the land was seized and occupied fifty years ago is the height of arrogance and injustice. The Chinese government needs to hear from the international community and understand that they have given themselves a HUGE black eye with this action. And it won't go away until Sitiwaldi (Dilkex) Tilivaldi is released. What makes a dictatorship like this qualified to host an Olympics?

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