An article in the New York Times (July 18) includes the testimony of an American teacher who witnessed the violent suppression of the peaceful demonstration by Uyghurs in Urumchi, East Turkestan on July 5. Mr. Adam Grode recalled that:
“..people also began gathering on the northern edge of the old Uighur quarter, said Adam Grode, an American teacher who watched the scene from his 16th-floor apartment. The crowd swelled to more than 1,000 people, including women and the elderly. By 6:30 p.m., a line of troops from the People’s Armed Police, a paramilitary force, had formed to the north and was trying to push the crowd down into the Uighur quarter. Some officers charged with batons. The crowd surged back against the troops, fists raised.
Another wave of troops arrived. They were better equipped, with body padding and riot shields, Mr. Grode said. Some had rifles slung across their bodies.
Young men began hurling stones and bricks as the police attacked with batons. People also threw rocks at buses that had been halted. A full-fledged street battle erupted, though the police officers at this point did not use their guns, Mr. Grode said. After 8 p.m., rioters showed up in mixed neighborhoods about two miles southeast of the Uighur quarter. Police officers did not arrive until after 1 a.m., witnesses said. These areas were among the worst hit; witnesses said bodies were strewn all around Dawan North Road, for instance.
Earlier, at twilight, back in the northern half of the Uighur quarter, officers sprinted through alleyways to beat down and handcuff Uighur men. By around 10 p.m., they had begun opening fire with guns and tear gas rifles, Mr. Grode said, adding that he heard occasional series of single-shot gunfire. Another foreigner also said she heard gunfire after dark.” (Emphasis Added)