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China sentences 6 to death over Xinjiang riot

Six people were sentenced today to death for murder and other crimes in three court cases regarding the deadly July 5 riot in Urumqi, capital of the far western Xinjiang region.

In the 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 were convicted of murder at the Urumqi Intermediate People's Court, said a statement from the court.

Moming also stole mobile phones and bracelets. Four defendants -- Pazil, Aikepa'er, Ruzi Imam and Aikebai'er Aishan -- with others set fire to and smashed more than 40 cars in a dealer shop, incurring losses of 1.6 million yuan (US$234,400), 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 setting fire to and smashing private property.

The statement said the remaining four of the 11 in the case were given jail terms ranging from five to 18 years for arson and assaulting people with stones, bricks and clubs.

In the second case, Aizezijiang Yasin was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve on a charge of murder after he was found guilty of beating an innocent person to death with others and stealing a mobile phone.

Yasin was given the lesser punishment as his confession helped uncover the criminal case, the statement said.

In the third case, Han Junbo and Liu Bo were found guilty of attacking Rouzhahong Ahmad and Kurban Ahmad "on 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 while Liu was jailed for 10 years.

The court also deprived the nine defendants who were given death penalty or jailed for life of their political rights.

The statement gave no other details of the three cases.

On Monday, six defendants also were given death penalty for murder, arson and robbery, the first to be sentenced in relation to the July 5 Urumqi riot that left almost 200 dead.


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