Uighurs condemn China's first executions in East Turkistan

China has executed nine people over ethnic protests in East Turkistan, regional authorities said Monday, the first executions since July.

Uighurs condemn China's first executions in East Turkistan

China has executed nine people over ethnic protests in East Turkistan, regional authorities said Monday, the first executions since July.

Four months later, the region is still under heavy security, with Internet access cut and international direct dialing calls blocked.

China convicted 21 defendants in October -- nine were sentenced to death, three were given the death penalty with a two-year reprieve, a sentence usually commuted to life in jail, and the rest were given various prison terms.

The official China News Service reported that the nine were executed after a final review of the verdicts by the Supreme People's Court as required by law, but gave no specific date or other details. Earlier reports had identified those condemned as eight Uighurs and one Han.

Dilxat Raxit, a spokesman for the World Uighur Congress condemned the executions as motivated by politics and the need to appease Urumqi's angry Han residents.

"We don't think they got a fair trial, and we believe this was a political verdict," said Raxit, who serves as spokesman for the Germany-based World Uyghur Congress.

"The United States and the European Union did not put any pressure on China or seek to intervene and for that we are extremely disappointed," he said.

He said the Uighurs who were put to death had not been able to meet with their families.

China officially put the death toll at 197 in police crackdown, but accepted to kill only 12 Uighurs.

Chinese lynch sparked Uighur protests in Urumqi. Exiled Uighur leaders said the protests were peaceful until security forces over-reacted with deadly force.

Urumqi is in the Uighur Autonomous Region that has a population of over 21 million.

The communist China changed name of East Turkistan and named it Xinjiang in 1955.

Many Uighurs resent Han Chinese rule, complaining they're marginalised economically and politically in their own land, while having to tolerate a rising influx of Han Chinese migrants.

Meanwhile, human rights groups accuse Beijing of using claims of "terrorism" as an excuse to crack down on peaceful pro-independence sentiment and expressions of Uighur identity.

East Turkistan, that has 8 million Uighurs, borders Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, has abundant oil reserves and is China's largest natural gas-producing region.


Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 09 Kasım 2009, 17:25
YORUM EKLE