CHINA: TWO SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR MOSQUE ATTACK
September 28, 2014: A court in China's far west sentenced to death two teenagers for the killing of the head of the country's biggest mosque, state media reported, in a case that highlighted divisions in the violence-wracked Xinjiang region.
The Kashgar Intermediate People's Court handed down the death penalty to Gheni Hasan and Nurmemet Abidilimit "on charges of forming and leading terrorist groups and murder", the official Xinhua news agency said.
A third person, Atawulla Tursun, received a life sentence for "taking part in terrorist groups and murder", Xinhua said.
"The court said the gang, led by Gheni Hasan, was influenced by religious extremism and trained its members to murder patriotic religious figures," the report said.
The state-run China¬†Daily newspaper on Monday (September 29) gave Abidilimit's age as 19 and Hasan's as 18, though it identified Hasan as Aini Aishan, a Chinese transliteration.
Jume Tahir, the government-appointed imam of the 600-year-old Id Kah mosque in Kashgar, was killed on July 30.
The reports said Abidilimit and two others killed the imam, adding that the others were shot dead by police in an ensuing manhunt.¬†
Citing the Xinjiang Daily newspaper, the China Daily said Hasan planned the killing because he believed the imam had distorted the meaning of the Koran, and that the killing of such an influential person would make an impact. (Source: Agence France Presse, 29/09/2014)