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China Hands Death Sentences to Uighur Separatists


China says it has sentenced to death five ethnic Uighur Muslims from the country's restive far western region, who were convicted of separatist activities.

The official Xinhua news agency said Sunday that the Intermediate Court in Kashgar, in the province of Xinjiang, sentenced a sixth man to life in prison.

The agency said of the five men who were sentenced to death, two had their sentences suspended for two years. That means the death sentence will be commuted to life in jail if the prisoners show good behavior and remorse for two years.

Chinese authorities say the six ethnic Uighur Muslims were members of a terrorist organization.

China has cracked down hard on Uighurs, whom it accuses of trying to set up an independent state in Xinjiang.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.