China jails 113 in Xinjiang for terrorism

Mass sentencing comes after Beijing vowed to crack down on separatist groups blamed for a series of attacks.

    Chinese courts have sentenced 113 people to jail terms ranging from 10 years to life in mainly Uighur Muslim Xinjiang province for terrorism and other charges, according to a government-run news portal.

    The tianshan.net website said in a Sunday report that the sentences were handed out last Wednesday by courts in 11 counties and cities in the Kashgar region. It did not identify the ethnicity of the sentenced, but they had Uighur names.

    The judges found them guilty of crimes ranging from robbery and drug trafficking to "being involved in organising, leading and participating in a terrorist organisation, inciting ethnic hatred and ethnic discrimination", the report said. 

    The sentences come after Beijing vowed to crack down on religious and separatist groups, which it blames for a series of violent attacks in Xinjiang.

    A suicide bombing last month killed 39 people at a market in Xinjiang's capital, Urumqi. In March, 29 people were stabbed to death at a train station in the southwestern city of Kunming.

    At least 380 people have been arrested following the violence.

    'Competitive race'

    Exiled Uyghur groups and human rights activists say the government's policies in Xinjiang, including controls on Islam, have provoked unrest.

    There is now a "competitive race" among various areas to arrest and sentence Uyghurs, Dilxat Raxit, a spokesman for the World Uyghur Congress, the largest group of exiled Uyghurs, said in a statement.

    "They have trampled on the rights of the defendants to argue and appeal, accusing Uyghurs who are rising against China's suppression and expressing their dissatisfaction, of being terrorists," Raxi said.

    "It will only lead to extreme forms of resistance when people cannot protest peacefully."

    Xinjiang, resource-rich and strategically located on the borders of central Asia, is crucial to China's growing energy needs. Analysts say that much of the proceeds have gone to the Han Chinese, stoking resentment among Uighurs.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Why some African Americans are moving to Africa

    Escaping systemic racism: Why I quit New York for Accra

    African-Americans are returning to the lands of their ancestors as life becomes precarious and dangerous in the USA.

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    No country in the world recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

    Why Russia refuses to give refugee status to Syrians

    Why Russia refuses to give refugee status to Syrians

    Despite playing a major role in Syria's war, Moscow has granted refugee status to only one Syrian national since 2011.