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China Targets Uighurs With Beards, Burkas

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In China, a major thrust of the yearlong crackdown on terrorism includes a campaign against religious extremism. Yet authorities also are targeting beards and veils in a campaign affecting the daily lives of Uighurs, an ethnic Muslim minority. (Aug. 26)

SHOTLIST:

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Aksu, Xinjiang, China - 17 July 2014

1. Uighur boy stroking old man's beard at barber shop

2. Beard being stroked

3. Tracking shot from car of police box with soldiers and armored car

4. Shot through barber shop window of beard being stroked

5. Young Uighur men without beards talking

6. Plainclothes police introducing Deputy Imam of Mosque

7.NATS: (Uighur) Deputy Imam of Mosque (No name given):

"When the young people are old, they too can have beards."

(UPSOUND (Uighur) young man who is off camera)

"Why don't you tell them the truth ? It's because the government doesn't allow beards."

(UPSOUND (Uighur) Plain clothes policeman offscreen)

"Be careful what you say. Be careful what you say."

8. Various Uighur men outside mosque

9. Policeman directs traffic at intersection with armored car in background

10. Uighur women cross road in front of armored car

11.Zoom in from street to rear of seated woman wearing black veil

12. Pan from woman wearing black veil, hides her face, pan to plainclothes police watching

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Beijing, China - 14 August 2014

13. SOUNDBITE: (Mandarin) Uighur local (no name given): (see transcript below)

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Alaqagha, Xinjiang, China - 16 July 2014

14. Wanted posters for Uighur militant suspects

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Aksu, Xinjiang, China - 17 July 2014

15. Group of police studying AP journalists' documents at checkpoint

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Alaqagha, Xinjiang, China - 16 July 2014

16. Wanted posters for Uighur militant suspects

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Aksu, Xinjiang, China - 17 July 2014

17. Security guard sitting outside building with shields and helmets

VOICEOVER:

IN THE CHINESE PROVINCE OF XINJIANG, AUTHORITIES ARE CRACKING DOWN ON A LONG OBSERVED MUSLIM TRADITION... GROWING BEARDS.

THEIR FOCUS IS ON UIGHURS (wee-ghurz), AN ETHNIC MINORITY WHO OBSERVE ISLAMIC CUSTOMS.

BUT POLICE BLAME SOME UIGHUR SEPARATISTS FOR SEVERAL BOMBINGS AND STABBINGS.

WHILE MANY MEN OVER THE AGE OF FIFTY COULD BE SEEN CARING FOR THEIR LONG BEARDS... YOUNG MEN IN THIS UIGHUR (wee-ghur) NEIGHBORHOOD WERE CLEAN SHAVEN.

WHEN QUESTIONED BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ABOUT THE DIFFERENT PRACTICES -- THIS GOVERNMENT-APPOINTED MUSLIM CLERIC DODGED THE QUESTION.

YET A YOUNG MAN COULD BE HEARD SAYING OFF-CAMERA.. "WHY DON'T YOU TELL THEM THE TRUTH? IT'S BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT DOESN'T ALLOW BEARDS."

A POLICE OFFICER WHO HAD BEEN FOLLOWING THE JOURNALISTS, QUICKLY REPLIED, "BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU SAY."

THIS QUICK EXCHANGE OFFERED A GLIMPSE INTO THE SIMMERING TENSIONS BETWEEN CHINA'S RULING COMMUNIST PARTY AND UIGHUR MINORITIES.

POLICE HAVE ALSO BEEN TARGETING UIGHUR WOMEN WEARING BURQAS... VEILS that COVER THEIR ENTIRE BODY.

SOME RESTRICTIONS ARE NOT NEW... YET THIS YEAR ENFORCEMENT IS ON THE RISE...

ONE MAN WHO DID NOT GIVE HIS NAME SAYS HE'S CONCERNED BY THE POLICE TACTICS.

SOUNDBITE: (Mandarin) Uighur local (no name given):

"It is all right that you detain bad people. But what do they mean by detaining so many people including good people?"

WANTED SIGNS FOR SUSPECTED UIGHUR TERRORISTS COULD BE SEEN.

GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS SAY THEY'RE TRYING TO CONTAIN ETHNIC VIOLENCE...

IN THE PAST 18 MONTHS, THEY SAY, HUNDREDS HAVE DIED FROM ESCALATING ATTACKS.

PADMANANDA RAMA, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

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