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October 16, 2009

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3 more rioters sentenced to die

THREE more people were sentenced to death yesterday for murders committed during the July riots in China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, bringing to nine the number of people facing execution so far for their part in the unrest.

The Urumqi Intermediate People's Court in the capital city of Xinjiang also handed three others death terms with two-year reprieves, a penalty usually commuted to life in prison on good behavior.

On Monday, six defendants were given death sentences for murder, arson and robbery, the first to face punishment in connection with the July 5 riot that left almost 200 people dead in Urumqi.

In all, 14 people were sentenced yesterday for attacking people, setting fires and destroying private property.

In yesterday's first case, Ahmatjan Moming and Tohti Pazil were given the death penalty while Ainiwa'er Aikepa'er and Xi'erzhati Maimaititusong were sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve.

Moming and Pazil were found to have beaten two people to death, and Moming also was guilty of stealing mobile phones and bracelets. Four defendants - Pazil, Aikepa'er, Ruzi Imam and Aikebai'er Aishan - smashed and set fire to more than 40 cars in a dealership, inflicting 1.6 million yuan (US$234,400) in property losses, the court found.

Ruzi Imam, Tusongjiang Maimaiti and Tu'ersong Abulizi were sentenced to life imprisonment for their involvement in attacks on members of the public and destroying private property.

A court statement said four others were given jail terms ranging from five to 18 years for arson and assaulting people with stones, bricks and clubs.

In a second case, Aizezijiang Yasin was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve after he was found guilty of beating a person to death with others and stealing a mobile phone. Yasin was given the lesser punishment as his confession helped solve the case, the court said.

In a third case, Han Junbo and Liu Bo were found guilty of attacking Rouzhahong Ahmad and Kurban Ahmad as a result of "rumors," the statement said, without elaborating.

Rouzhahong Ahmad died of injuries and Kurban Ahmad was slightly injured after jumping from a building to escape. Han was sentenced to death, and Liu was imprisoned for 10 years.


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