China jails 'syringe attackers'

Three people jailed for up to 15 years after several stabbings in Xinjiang province.

    A series of syringe stabbings prompted protests by Xinjiang's ethnic Han Chinese [Reuters]

    It said that Yilihamu, whose ethnicity was not given although his name is Uighur, was convicted of stabbing a woman with a syringe at a street market on August 28.  
      
    Yilihamu was sentenced to 15 years in prison but the report said that he intended to appeal against the verdict.

    Taxi driver threatened

    In a second case heard in the same court, Muhutaerjiang Turdi, a 34-year-old man, and Aimannisha Guli, a woman aged 22, were sentenced to 10 and seven years in prison respectively.

    The pair threatened a taxi driver with a syringe and robbed him of $104, according to CCTV, which broadcast images of the convicts clad in orange prison wear and guarded by police as they faced the court.

    A court official contacted by the AFP news agency confirmed the sentences but would not give details.

    The Xinhua news agency said the proceedings, which lasted three hours, were held in Uighur with Mandarin translation, as requested by the defendants.
      
    More than 200 people attended the court hearings, including family members of the accused and their victims, it reported.

    Numerous attacks

    The authorities has vowed to deal harshly with anyone who carries out such attacks, particularly if the syringes are found to contain poisonous substances.

    Police in Urumqi have received reports of more than 500 syringe attacks but, in most cases, the syringes did not contain any harmful substances, according to the authorities.

    The China Daily newspaper reported of Friday that syringe attacks had occurred in other towns across Xinjiang.

    The region's eight million ethnic Uighurs have long complained about Chinese oppression and the immigration of Han Chinese into Xinjiang, while the recent tensions have encouraged protests by the Han demanding greater protection.

    Xinjiang has around 20 million inhabitants divided among 47 ethnic groups. The Han Chinese have increased from six per cent to 40 per cent of the population under political policies advocated by Beijing since the 1990s.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    We travel more than 2,000km and visit communities along the route of the oil pipeline that cuts across Indigenous land.

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women married to ISIL fighters share accounts of being made to watch executions and strap explosives to other women.

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    The story of Ali Reza Monfared, the Iranian who tried to buy diplomatic immunity after embezzling millions of dollars.