News / Asia

China Sentences Three to Die for Attempted Xinjiang Hijacking

Reuters
A Chinese court sentenced three men to death and another to life in prison on Tuesday for attempting to hijack a plane in its Xinjiang region in June, state media said, as Beijing cracks down on what it calls violent separatists in its far west.

Passengers and air crew subdued six people who tried to hijack a flight minutes after it took off from the remote desert city of Hotan, a heavily ethnic Uighur area that had been hit by recent bouts of violence.

Earlier, state media reports said two of the men died from injuries sustained on board the plane, but Uighur advocacy groups have questioned the government's account.

The men confessed to their crimes and were "guilty of organising, leading or participating in a terrorist group, hijacking the aircraft, and attempting to detonate explosives on the aircraft,'' the official Xinhua news agency said, citing the Intermediate People's Court in Hotan.

The court sentenced Musa Yvsup and Arxidikali Yimin to death for plotting and leading the hijacking, and Eyumer Yimin for his role in the incident. Alem Musa received a life sentence after pleading guilty ``with a good attitude,'' Xinhua said.

Xinjiang is home to the mainly Muslim Uighur people who speak a Turkic language. Many of them chafe at Chinese government controls on their culture and religion.

Dilxat Raxit, spokesman for the exiled World Uyghur Congress, said the four men had been denied their choice of lawyers.

Chinese authorities, wary of instability and the threat to the Communist Party's grip on power, often blame what they say are violent separatist groups and religious extremists in Xinjiang for attacks on police and other government targets.

In September, courts in Xinjiang sentenced four people to death for violence in two cities last year in which 32 people were killed.
   
The government blamed the incidents in Kashgar and Hotan - both in the majority Uighur southern part of Xinjiang - on Muslim hardliners who want to establish an independent state called East Turkestan.

China is concerned about Uighur activists linking up with Islamist militants over the border in Pakistan. Activists in exile and human rights groups say China overstates the threat posed by militants in energy-rich Xinjiang, which sits astride south and central Asia.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid