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Family hopes Kadeer will listen to their appeals
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After a letter from Rebiya Kadeer's family to her was made public Tuesday, her sons, daughter and brother in China talked about their sorrow and expectations of their mother and sister.

Kadeer's eldest son Khahar was a witness of the riot on July 5.

"I saw the whole thing from the balcony of my apartment at the 12th floor in Shanxixiangzi Alley," he said. " Mobs came from the south. They smashed shops, burnt police vehicles and buses, and beat passers-by. I believe no one in Xinjiang expects such violence to occur."

As his uncle Memet had received a call from his mother six hours before the riot took place, Khahar thought Kadeer must have been involved.

Khahar, his sister Roxingul and uncle Memet wrote a letter to Kadeer, asking her not to organize violence or undermine the peaceful life in Xinjiang, on July 24.

"She is my mother. It is not good to say things bad about her. But we just hope she can pull herself out of these (separatist) activities," he said. "Maybe she can listen to the advice from her children."

But he admitted Kadeer did not listen to them much.

"Before the riot when she called from the United States, I tried several times to persuade her not to harm ethnic harmony here or try to separate the country. She didn't take my words seriously."

"What we want is a peaceful life," Khahar said.

Khahar runs a 2.67-hectare orchard in Aksu in southern Xinjiang. He had planned a family vacation there in July.

"A total of 15 family members, including me, my sister and uncle, would go on the vacation. But the plan has to be delayed because of the riot," he said.

He learned from TV and newspapers that many people were killed in the riot.

"We were worrying that there might be misunderstanding that we, as her children, were also involved," he said. "That's why we thought about writing a letter to families of the riot victims."

In the letter, the family made clear they were not involved in the riot, expressed their sympathy to the victims, and told people not to listen to rumors spread by Kadeer.

Kadeer had six children with ex-husband Abdurehim. The couple divorced when Khahar was 13 years old.

Her daughter Roxingul has been working in a local school for more than 20 years.

When she considered her mother may have been behind the July 5 riot, Roxingul said, "As her daughter, I feel so sorry for the people who lost their lives during the unrest."

According to Roxingul, although many people around know she is Kadeer's daughter, they "get along very well". "At first I was afraid people would hate me very much," she said.

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