Four more death sentences over Xinjiang unrest

Originally published by BBC, 26 January 2010

China says four more people have been sentenced to death over last year’s ethnic unrest in Xinjiang province.

At least 25 people are now thought to have received death sentences over the violence – nine of the executions have already been carried out.

Nearly 200 people were killed in July during fighting between ethnic Uighurs and members of China’s Han majority in the regional capital, Urumqi.

The violence was some of the worst ethnic unrest in China for decades.

The latest sentences were handed down at a court in the provincial capital on Monday, state media reported.

Xinhua did not say which ethnic group those sentenced belonged to, but their names indicated they were members of the Uighur population.

Eight other people were sentenced to life and one person was given a death sentence with a two-year reprieve, a court spokesman told the AFP news agency.

A death sentence with reprieve is usually commuted to life in prison in China, say reports.

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