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

    Investigation reveals scale of forced displacement in South Sudan

    Investigation reveals scale of forced displacement in South Sudan

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across the entire country.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Residents of long-neglected northwestern tribal belt say incorporation into Pakistan has left them in a vacuum.