China Sentences Six Men to Death over Ethnic Riots (Updated)

Just after handing down the death sentence to one man for the deadly factory brawl in Shaoguan, six men, all apparently Uighur, have been sentenced to death for instigating the riots in Urumqi that followed. From The Guardian:

The convicts – all of whom have names suggesting they are from the Uighur ethnic minority – were found guilty of murder, arson and robbery during the riots, which left almost 200 people dead.

The sentencing – announced by the state-run China Central Television – appeared to be aimed at mollifying the anger of the Han Chinese majority, many of whom rallied in the regional capital of Urumqi last month to call for swift retribution.

But overseas Uighur groups warned that the harsh punishments and lack of due legal process could further inflame tensions.

Fears of new unrest prompted the authorities to step up security in Urumqi ahead of the sentencing.

Update: See a post from the China Law & Policy blog about this trial.

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