China to execute five more Uighurs

A Chinese court sentenced five more people to death over ethnic violence in July in East Turkistan, an official said Thursday.

China to execute five more Uighurs

A Chinese court sentenced five more people to death over ethnic violence in July in East Turkistan whose name was turned into Xinjiang by China, an official said Thursday.

The new trial, not reported in national Chinese media, brings the number of death sentences for the protests to at least 22, of which at least nine have already been executed.

Clashes over the summer between Han Chinese and Muslim Uighur residents in Urumqi, East Turkistan's capital, left 197 people dead, according to Chinese government figures. However, Uighur exile groups said up to 800 people died, many of them Uighurs shot or beaten to death by police.

"Altogether 22 defendants in five cases went on trial on December 22 and December 23," Hou Hanmin, director of the Xinjiang Government Information Office, told Reuters by phone.

Hou would not specify the charges, which she said were published in Xinjiang newspapers. The Internet has been blocked in Uighur region since July, and local newspaper websites cannot be accessed from outside the region.

The intermediate court in Urumqi sentenced another five people to death with a two-year suspension, which is usually commuted to a life sentence, and jailed another eight for life, according to a statement faxed by the spokeswoman.

Judging from the names, the 10 sentenced to death or the suspended death sentence are likely all Uighurs, a Muslim, Turkic-speaking people native to the region.

The statement said the court was shown "ample evidence" in the "open" trials, and that more similar trials would follow.

China last week succeeded in getting a group of 20 Uighurs deported from Cambodia, including two small children, who fled China violence after the July protest and sought asylum with the United Nations High Commission on Refugees in Phnom Penh.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu declined to say where the Uighurs were or whether they had been charged with any crime upon their return to China.

Human rights groups have denounced their repatriation as a violation of international conventions on refugees and asylum seekers.



Agencies

Last Mod: 24 Aralık 2009, 16:44
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