Xinjiang: officials sentence 55 in public rally

Chinese officials in the western region of Xinjiang on May 27 held a public rally at a sports stadium for the mass sentencing of criminals, in which 55 individuals were sentenced before a crowd of 7,000 people. While three received death sentences for crimes including "violent terrorism," other prisoners' crimes ranged from "separatism" to "membership in terror groups." Rights groups such as Human Rights Watch have accused China's policies of being discriminatory against Uighurs, Muslims who speak a Turkic language. All individuals named at the sentencing rally [in the city of Yining, Yili prefecture] have Uighur names. This public stand against terrorism and extremism appears to be a response to the recent attacks in Xinjiang's capital of Urumqi.

Earlier this week a "terror group" was arrested in Xinjiang with more than 1 ton of material for explosive devices. Last week, 31 people were killed, and over 90 injured, when two cars drove through a busy street market in Xinjiang, setting off explosives. In late April, a combined bombing and knife attack occurred in the South Railway Station of Urumqi.

From Jurist, May 28. Used with permission.

  1. More violence in Xinjiang

    Thirteen assailants were killed in an attack on a police station in Yecheng county, Kashgar province, Xinjiang, officials said June 21. The attackers drove a car into the station and set off explosives before being shot by police, authorities said. Three police suffered minor injuries, the report said. (BBC News)