China executes 13 convicted of terrorism

Reports: 31 dead in western China attacks
Reports: 31 dead in western China attacks

    JUST WATCHED

    Reports: 31 dead in western China attacks

MUST WATCH

Reports: 31 dead in western China attacks 04:44

Story highlights

  • 13 people were executed for terrorism, Chinese media reports
  • They had been arrested after terror attacks in Xinjiang province that killed 71 people
  • Dozens more were convicted and given lengthy prison terms
  • China is cracking down in Xinjiang, which has a minority Muslim population

China executed 13 people Monday who were indicted on terrorism charges related to attacks on public places in Xinjiang province in recent months, according to China's Xinhua news agency.

They were among dozens arrested and publicly tried after a government crackdown on terrorism in the region.

Twenty-nine people were killed and 130 injured when men armed with long knives stormed a train station in Kunming in March. The next month, an attack on a train station in Urumqi, Xinjiang's capital, left three dead, including the attackers, and an attack on an Urumqi market in May killed at least 39.

Those executed are believed to be close to or part of China's Uyghur minority, a mainly Turkic-speaking Muslim population.

The Higher People's Court of Xinjiang, Uyghur Autonomous Region, found them guilty of organizing, leading and participating in terrorist groups; murder; arson; theft; and the illegal manufacture, storage and transportation of explosives, according to Xinhua.

Dozens stabbed to death in China attack
Dozens stabbed to death in China attack

    JUST WATCHED

    Dozens stabbed to death in China attack

MUST WATCH

Dozens stabbed to death in China attack 02:07
Xinjiang attacks shifting to civilians
Xinjiang attacks shifting to civilians

    JUST WATCHED

    Xinjiang attacks shifting to civilians

MUST WATCH

Xinjiang attacks shifting to civilians 02:41

Some Uyghurs have expressed resentment toward China's Han majority in recent years over what they say is harsh treatment from Chinese security forces and Han people taking the lion's share of economic opportunities in Xinjiang.

Amnesty International said Uyghurs face widespread discrimination, including in employment, housing and educational opportunities, as well as curtailed religious freedom and political marginalization.

Dozens of others tried and convicted received sentences ranging from delayed death penalties to life sentences and other lengthy prison terms, according to Xinhua.

Yu Huitang, a spokesman with the Xinjiang Regional Higher People's Court, said in May that "the sentences are a warning to those who have religious extremist thoughts and intend to incite violence."

Chinese authorities say they apprehended more than 200 terror cells in Xinjiang last year and, according to Xinhua, China's leaders have "vowed to resolutely stop terrorism and severely punish terrorists."

READ: Three death sentences for Tiananmen Square attackers