China Executes Nine for Xinjiang Riot: Reports

Chinese authorities have executed nine people in connection with the ethnic riots in Xinjiang earlier this year, say regional reports. The nine were the first of those convicted of the riots to be executed.

Some 200 people were killed in bloody clashes between ethnic Uighurs and members of China’s Han majority in the regional capital, Urumqi in July.

According to reports in the Chinese media, the nine men were convicted of crimes including murder and arson.

Though, the reports did not mention the ethnicity of those executed, there was wide consensus that those executed included eight Uighurs and one Han.

The violence in Urumqi erupted on 5 July, when protests by Uighurs left at least 197 people dead and another 1,700 injured.

Two days later, groups of Han went looking for revenge as police struggled to restore order.

Of the 21 people were sentenced in October nine were sentenced to death while three others were given the death penalty with a two-year reprieve.

They were convicted of crimes such as murder, damage to property, arson and robbery.

Tensions between the Uighurs and Han have been growing since millions of Han moved to the region in recent decades, and while the majority of residents used to be Muslim Uighurs, Han now outnumber them in some areas, including Urumqi.

Many Uighurs want more autonomy in the region.

The US on Monday urged China to ensure fair and transparent trials for those Beijing blames for the violence.

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