Five Uighurs sentenced to death in China

Five Uighurs sentenced to death in China

BEIJING - The Associated Press
Five Uighurs sentenced to death in China

In this file photo, a man stands amid the site of a violent clash in Kashgar. AP photo

State media said two men have been sentenced to death and three others to prison terms over a clash in northwest China’s tense Xinjiang region.

The Xinhua News Agency said the violence on April 23 in which 21 people died was committed by Muslim extremists inspired by jihadi propaganda. The alleged leader, Musa Hesen, was sentenced to death for murder, forming and leading a terrorist organization and illegally manufacturing explosives.

Another defendant, Rehman Hupur, also received the death sentence for murder and belonging to a terrorist organization. The sentences imposed on three others ranged from nine years to life in prison.

Xinjiang is home to around nine million ethnic Uighurs, many of whom complain of religious and cultural repression by Chinese authorities.

The region is regularly hit by unrest. Violent riots involving Uighurs and members of China’s Han ethnic majority in Xinjiang’s capital Urumqi in 2009 killed around 200 people, leading the ruling Communist Party to tighten surveillance and boost investment in the region.