Court tries 14 more for riots in Xinjiang

BEIJING: Another 14 people went on trial today over deadly ethnic riots in western China’s Xinjiang region, two days after six were sentenced to death for murder and other crimes linked to the unrest. The 14 were charged with crimes including murder, robbery, arson and vandalism. The death sentences handed down on Monday were the first in the trials of scores of suspects arrested in the July rioting between Muslim minority Uighurs and members of the Han Chinese majority in the regional capital of Urumqi. The Chinese government says the violence left 197 dead. It was the country’s worst communal violence in decades. The six sentenced Monday all had Uighur names. A seventh man received life imprisonment. Police have said hundreds of people were detained following the Urumqi rioting, in which more than 1,700 people were injured.

The violence flared on July 5 after police broke up a protest by Uighur youths demanding an investigation into a deadly brawl between Han and Uighur workers at a toy factory in southern China. Angry Uighurs attacked random bystanders in Urumqi, an overwhelmingly Han city in the heart of the Uighurs’ traditional homeland.