China Sentences 6 More to Death for Xinjiang Riot
“The trials started at around 10:00 am today and they’re still not over. Fourteen defendants are being tried,” a spokesman for the Xinjiang government, who asked not to be named, told AFP.
The defendants are charged with murder, robbery, arson and vandalism, the official Xinhua news agency reported, in connection with the violence that left nearly 200 dead — the worst ethnic unrest in China in decades.
The regional capital Urumqi erupted in chaos on July 5 as members of the Uighur minority — most of whom are Muslims — went on a rampage in attacks directed mainly at members of China’s dominant Han ethnic group.
The 14 were the last in a batch of 21 people who have so far been charged with crimes relating to the unrest. Six have already been sentenced to death and a seventh sentenced to life in prison.
Update: AP reports that six more defendants have been sentenced to death in today’s trials:
Hou Hanmin, a spokeswoman for Xinjiang’s regional government, said six new defendants were sentenced to death and three other people were given life sentences by the Urumqi Intermediate People’s Court. Five others were given prison terms, she said, but did not provide details.
The defendant’s names were not immediately available and it was not clear if they were Uighur.
On Monday, six Uighur defendants were sentenced to death by the same court. Those sentences were the first to be handed down in the trials of scores of suspects arrested during and after the riots.