Updated: 06/30/2014 11:54 | By Agence France-Presse

China jails 113 in Xinjiang mass sentencing

Courts in China's ethnically-divided Xinjiang, home to mainly Muslim Uighurs, have sentenced 113 people to jail on mostly terrorism-related offences, state-run media said, as authorities press a crackdown following several deadly attacks.


China jails 113 in Xinjiang mass sentencing

Security forces participating in a military drill in Hetian, northwest China's Xinjiang region, June 6, 2014 - by AFP

Four suspects were sentenced to life in prison, while 109 others were given sentences for crimes ranging from "organising and leading terrorist groups" to "bigamy and drug dealing", Xinjiang's government web portal Tianshan said late Sunday.

Beijing has vowed a year-long nationwide crackdown on terrorism after attackers killed 39 people in the Xinjiang capital Urumqi last month, one of several high-profile attacks blamed on militants from the far-western region. 

In recent months they have spread beyond Xinjiang, and targeted ordinary citizens rather than government or security personnel.

Exile groups say unrest has been fuelled by cultural oppression and intrusive state security measures, along with immigration by China's Han ethnic majority, which they say has led to decades of discrimination and economic inequality.

China says it grants Uighurs broad religious freedoms and has raised living standards.

The latest sentencings, held in the city of Kashgar on Wednesday, were "public", Tianshan said, following a series of rallies in the region which have seen suspects paraded in front of crowds.

The report did not state the ethnicities of those sentenced, but names provided suggested they were Uighurs.

Two men found guilty of "viewing terrorist videos" and "organising terrorist training" and were sentenced to life in prison, the report said.

One of the suspects was jailed for 10 years for receiving messages from "foreign terrorist organisations" and sharing them with seven others using the mobile messaging platform Wechat, it added. 

Dilxat Raxit, spokesman for the overseas-based World Uyghur Congress, condemned the sentencing.

"Announcing verdicts in public places tramples on the rights of the accused and will only lead to more protest and extreme forms of resistance," he said.

Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn

NEWS VIDEOS

MORE NEWS VIDEOS

facebook recommendations

LIVE NEWS RADIO STREAMING

  • 938 Live

    938LIVE is Singapore's only English news and talk station which transmits round the clock with an engaging and enticing spread of programmes on current affairs, health, business and lifestyle as well as news every half hour until midnight.

  • Capital 958


    95.8FM城市频道的前身是"第三广播网"。上个世纪30年代末,新加坡就有中文广播,一路走来经过不少政治,社会局势的改变,中文广播在本地一直扮演举足轻重的角色。