China Sentences Six to Death for Xinjiang Riot

A Chinese court on Monday awarded death sentences to sixth men and ordered a seventh to life in prison for involvement in an ethnic riot that rocked the western regional capital of Urumqi in July, according to Xinhua, the state news agency.

All seven had names that suggested they were Uighurs, the largest ethnic group in the Xinjiang region.

The men were convicted of murder, and some were also found guilty of arson and robbery, Xinhua reported.

On July 5, enraged Uighurs went on a rampage against the dominant Han Chinese in the streets of Urumqi.

At least 197 people were killed, most of them Han civilians, and 1,600 injured, the government announced.

Uighurs have long complained of discrimination against the Han and of mass migrations to Xinjiang by the Han that have changed the demography in parts of the region.

The six sentenced to death by the Intermediate People’s Court in Urumqi were Abdukerim Abduwayit, Gheni Yusup, Abdulla Mettohti, Adil Rozi, Nureli Wuxiu’er and Alim Metyusup, according to Xinhua.

The seventh, Tayirejan Abulimit, was given a life sentence because he had confessed to murder and robbery and helped in the arrest of Alim Metyusup, Xinhua reported.

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