China executes two Uighur Muslims, jails 15

Uighur groups deny members are plotting attacks in East Turkistan and accuse China of a pre-Olympic security crackdown targeting activists seeking greater freedom for the region.

China executes two Uighur Muslims, jails 15
China has executed two Uighur Muslims and sentenced another 15 to jail for being members of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, the U.S. government-funded Radio Free Asia said in a report.

The Kashgar Intermediate People's Court sentenced two men -- Mukhtar Setiwaldi and Abduweli Imin -- to death and immediately executed them after a July 9 public trial in Yengi Sheher county, said RFA, citing local East Turkistan, Uighur and official sources.

The report could not be independently confirmed. Government officials could not be reached immediately on Saturday.

Chinese authorities were using the terrorist allegations as a pretext to persecute Uighurs, said the Uighur American Association (UAA), which strongly condemned the executions.

"Uighur men, women and children in East Turkestan continue to live under an extremely brutal form of repression," said UAA President Rebiya Kadeer.

"They live in a state of constant fear that they will become victims of state violence," said Kadeer.

RFA said three of the defendants were given death sentences suspended for two years and the rest prison terms ranging from 10 years to life.

All 17 were accused of being members of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, which seeks an independent state in East Turkistan.

Uighurs live under Chinese pressure on their religion and culture.

Uighur groups deny members are plotting attacks in East Turkistan and accuse China of a pre-Olympic security crackdown targeting activists seeking greater freedom for the region.

Reuters
Last Mod: 12 Temmuz 2008, 13:40
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