CHINA: UIGHUR MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH OVER XINJIANG ATTACKS
March 26, 2012: A Uighur man accused by the Chinese government of being the mastermind behind deadly attacks in the far western region of Xinjiang in February has been sentenced to death, authorities said.
Attackers wielding knives killed 13 people on a busy pedestrian street in Yecheng County near Kashgar, a city in the western part of Xinjiang that has been beset by tension between the mainly Muslim Uighur people and Han Chinese.
Abudukeremu Mamuti was convicted of "organizing and leading a terrorist group, and intentional homicide", the Xinjiang government said in a statement on its official news portal www.tianshannet.com.
China is extremely sensitive to Western suggestions that it mistreats or puts restrictions on Uighurs. Beijing often blames what it calls violent separatist groups in Xinjiang for attacks on police or other government targets, saying they work with al Qaeda or militants in ex-Soviet Central Asia to bring about an independent state called East Turkestan. (Sources: Reuters, 27/03/2012)