Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Six people today received the death sentence, charged with being behind the riots that broke out in Xinjiang last July. Earlier in the week 6 others were sentenced to death.
The People's Court of Urumqi has ruled a stay of two years in the sentence for three of the condemned. In the trial of the 14 defendants, three were sentenced to life imprisonment and five to prison for several years.
On 5 July last, peaceful demonstrations of protest by Uyghurs in Urumqi degenerated into ethnic clashes between the Muslim and Han Chinese populations. The police and army repressed tensions carrying out thousands of arrests. Uyghurs accuse Han of colonizing them, having occupied all the top positions in business and public administration. For decades, the Uyghur population has been suffering a heavy military control, which has grown in recent months, in the aftermath of the clashes.
The Uyghurs in exile have condemned the death sentences, calling them "the first mass of a execution promised by the Chinese government." According to international organizations for human rights, Beijing carries out an average of hundreds of executions in Xinjiang in a year.
A statement by the World Uyghur Congress confesses that they "can only hope that the world will stop China in its ongoing bloody repression of the Uyghur people."