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China Jails 39 on Terrorism-related Charges in Xinjiang

  • VOA News

Xinjiang province, China

Xinjiang province, China

China has jailed 39 people in the far western region of Xinjiang after finding them guilty of offenses including spreading videos that incite terrorism.

State media and court statements said the charges also include organizing and leading terrorist groups, inciting ethnic hatred, and the illegal manufacturing of guns.

One man, 25-year-old Maimaitiniyazi Aini, was given five years in jail because of comments he made in a chat group.

Xinjiang, which is home to the mostly Muslim Uighur ethnic minority group, has seen an increase in violent attacks by what Beijing says are Islamist separatists.

In the latest attack, one person was killed and dozens injured by assailants armed with knives and explosives at a train station in Xinjiang's capital of Urumqi. Both attackers died.

Exiled Uighur groups say the attacks are driven by the heavy-handed restrictions on Uighur religious life and by policies that favor the majority Han ethnic group.

It is difficult to verify information about the attacks because China severely restricts journalists from operating in Xinjiang and surrounding areas.