China restricts Ramadan fasting in Xinjiang
Published on Jul 2, 2014 1:49 PM
BEIJING (AFP) - China has banned civil servants, students and teachers in its mainly Muslim Xinjiang region from taking part in Ramadan fasting, government websites said, prompting condemnation from an exile group on Wednesday.
China's ruling Communist party is officially atheist, and for years has restricted fasting in Xinjiang, home to the mostly Muslim Uighur minority.
Xinjiang sees regular and often deadly clashes between Uighurs and state security forces, and Beijing has blamed recent deadly attacks elsewhere in China on militants seeking independence for the resource-rich region.
Rights groups blame tensions on religious and cultural restrictions placed on Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in the vast area, which abuts Central Asia.
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