China jails 20 on jihad, separatism charges in restive Xinjiang

By REUTERS
March 27, 2013 13:08




BEIJING - Chinese courts have sentenced 20 people to up to life in jail on charges of separatism and plotting to carry out jihad in the restive far western region of Xinjiang, the government said on Wednesday.

The courts in Kashgar and Bayingol said the 20 - all ethnic Uighurs judging by their names - had had their "thoughts poisoned by religious extremism", and used cell phones and DVDs "to spread Muslim religious propaganda", the Xinjiang government said on its official news website (www.ts.cn).

Some of them bought weapons to kill policemen as part of their jihad and spread propaganda related to the banned East Turkestan Islamic Movement, the report said, a group which China says wages a violent campaign for a separate state.

Many Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking Muslim people native to Xinjiang, chafe at Chinese controls on their religion, language and culture.


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