Uighurs Sentenced to Death; “Ethnic Unity” to Be Taught in Schools

The New York Times reports that two men have been sentenced to death for the attack on police officers in in August:

The court determined that the men, who were sentenced in the attack on Aug. 4 in the remote oasis town of Kashgar, were trying to “sabotage the Beijing Olympic Games that began Aug. 8,” Xinhua reported. The men, Abdurahman Azat, 33, and Kurbanjan Hemit, 28, are ethnic Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking Muslim people. Some Uighurs advocate independence in Xinjiang and resent what they call discriminatory policies put in place by the ruling ethnic Han Chinese.

Most, if not all, of the paramilitary officers killed or wounded on Aug. 4 were Han Chinese.

The Intermediate People’s Court of Kashgar sentenced the men for “intentional homicide and illegally producing guns, ammunition and explosives,” Xinhua reported.

The New York Times earlier published an account of this incident that differed from the official account.

Also related, the Ministry of Education has announced plans to teach Chinese school children about “ethnic unity”:

The new classes will run all the way through school, with high school students getting up to 14 hours a year to help them “recognise the superiority of our government and Communist Party’s ethnic policies,” and ensure they reflect them in their work.

Primary school children should learn a “basic awareness of the vital nature of ‘encouraging ethnic unity, protecting national unity and opposing ethnic separatism,”‘ said a summary of the policy posted on the ministry website.

Older children would gain a “correct understanding” of government and Party policy, while those in high school would also be expected to have a firm grasp on basic theory about “ethnic problems” and “establish a Marxist outlook on ethnicity.”

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