Skip to main content

China executes 13 convicted of terrorism

By Susanna Capelouto, CNN
updated 12:47 PM EDT, Mon June 16, 2014
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

(CNN) -- 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.

Dozens stabbed to death in China attack
Xinjiang attacks shifting to civilians

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.

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

CNN's Aliza Kassim, Tim Hume and Dayu Zhang contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 7:13 AM EDT, Fri October 17, 2014
A smuggler in Dandong, a Chinese border town near North Korea, tells CNN about the underground trade with North Korean soldiers
updated 2:54 AM EDT, Fri October 17, 2014
Yenn Wong got quite a surprise one morning earlier this month when she found out an exact copy of her Hong Kong restaurant had opened in China.
updated 11:15 PM EDT, Tue October 14, 2014
When I first came across a "virtual lover" service on e-commerce site Taobao, China's version of Amazon, I thought it was hype.
updated 9:15 AM EDT, Tue October 14, 2014
Each year Yi Jiefeng does what she can to stop China turning into a desert.
updated 10:54 AM EDT, Mon October 13, 2014
As its relationship with the West worsen, Russia is pivoting east in an attempt to secure business with China.
updated 10:29 PM EDT, Tue October 7, 2014
Aspiring Chinese comics performing in Shanghai's underground comedy scene hope to bring stand-up to the masses.
updated 12:54 PM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
Liu Wen is one of the world's highest-paid models and the first Chinese face to crack the top five in Forbes' annual list of top earners.
updated 7:44 AM EDT, Fri October 3, 2014
Cunning wolf? Working class hero? Or bland Beijing loyalist? C.Y. Leung was a relative unknown when he came to power in 2012.
updated 7:25 AM EDT, Thu October 2, 2014
 A man uses his smartphone on July 16, 2014 in Tokyo, Japan. Only 53.5% of Japanese owned smartphones in March, according to a white paper released by the Ministry of Communications on July 15, 2014. The survey of a thousand participants each from Japan, the U.S., Britain, France, South Korea and Singapore, demonstrated that Japan had the fewest rate of the six; Singapore had the highest at 93.1%, followed by South Korea at 88.7%, UK at 80%, and France at 71.6%, and U.S. at 69.6% in the U.S. On the other hand, Japan had the highest percentage of regular mobile phone owners with 28.7%. (Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images)
App hopes to help those seeking a way out of China's overstrained public health system.
updated 8:20 PM EDT, Thu October 2, 2014
Yards from pro-democracy protests, stands the Hong Kong garrison of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), China's armed forces.
updated 7:23 AM EDT, Thu October 2, 2014
The massive street rallies that have swept Hong Kong present a major dilemma for China's leadership.
updated 3:07 AM EDT, Sat September 27, 2014
Chinese wine drinkers need to develop a taste for the cheap stuff, not just premium red wines like Lafite.
updated 9:09 PM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
The Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader, set off a media kerfuffle this month when he spoke about his next reincarnation.
updated 10:18 AM EDT, Sun September 28, 2014
He's one of the fieriest political activists in Hong Kong — he's been called an "extremist" by China's state-run media — and he's not old enough to drive.
updated 10:57 PM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
China has no wine-making tradition but the country now uncorks more bottles of red than any other.
updated 5:29 AM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
Christians in eastern China keep watch in Wenzhou, where authorities have demolished churches and removed crosses.
updated 1:38 AM EDT, Wed September 10, 2014
Home-grown hip-hop appeals to a younger generation but its popularity has not translated into record deals and profits for budding rap artists.
ADVERTISEMENT