China executes 3 for inciting riots
27 others sentenced to jail
April 26, 1997
Web posted at: 1:28 p.m. EDT (1728 GMT)
BEIJING (CNN) -- Three men were sentenced to death and
executed the same day for their roles in bloody riots that
rocked northern China earlier this year, Chinese authorities
said Saturday. Twenty-seven others were sentenced to
penalties ranging from seven years in prison to life
More than 5,000 people packed a sports stadium in the Yili
district of Xinjiang, the troubled Muslim region near the
border with Kazakstan, to see the group sentenced at a
All of the convicted men were members of the ethnic Uighur
minority, Xinjiang's largest Muslim group, who have grown
increasingly resentful in recent years of Chinese rule and
The three men executed were sentenced to death for wounding,
hooliganism, arson and beatings.
Death penalties in China are often carried out shortly after
sentencing with a bullet to the head.
At least 10 people were killed and 140 others injured when
crowds of young Muslims beat people during a pro-independence
rally in Yining on February 5 and 6. It was among the worst
violence to rattle Xinjiang since the 1949 Communist
News reports said the Yili District Intermediate People's
Court and the court for Yining city in Yili, which held the
public rally, sentenced one person to life imprisonment for
hooliganism. Twenty-six others reportedly drew sentences
ranging from 7 to 18 years in prison.
The Xinjiang Daily said they were first batch of rioters
sentenced, suggesting there will be more.
Xinjiang, a vast region that is home to many Turkic-speaking
peoples such as the Uighurs, has a long history of ethnic
unrest and has recently been rocked by Muslim separatist
Reuters contributed to this report.
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