#AceNewsServices – CHINA (XINJIANG) – June 06 – Nine people have been sentenced to death on terrorism charges in China’s north-western region of Xinjiang.
State TV said they were among 81 people found guilty. Sentences were handed down at six different courts.
The charges included murder and arson.
Earlier 29 “terror suspects” were detained in Urumqi on charges including inciting separatism and ethnic hatred.
Chinese officials have blamed militant Uighur groups for a growing number of violent attacks across the country.
These include an attack in Beijing, where a car ploughed into pedestrians in Tiananmen Square, killing five people, and attacks at railway stations in Urumqi and Kunming.
China’s state broadcaster described the main charges against those sentenced on Thursday as relating to organising, leading or participating in a terrorist organisation.
Six courts in Xinjiang heard a total of 23 separate cases, it said, handing down nine death penalties and long custodial sentences.
The latest convictions come amid a sweeping security crackdown in the region, reports the BBC’s John Sudworth in Shanghai.
Last month China launched what it called a “year-long campaign against terrorism” after 39 people were killed when five suicide bombers attacked a street market in Urumqi, Xinjiang’s capital.
Last week 55 people were sentenced for terrorism, separatism and murder at a show trial in Xinjiang.
Beijing has blamed an increasing number of attacks on civilian targets on Uighur separatists, who it says are inspired by extreme religious ideology from abroad, our correspondent says.
Critics of China’s policies in Xinjiang point to economic inequality and cultural and religious repression as other possible reasons for the growing radicalism and resentment.
China says it is pouring money into the Xinjiang region, but some Uighurs say their traditions and freedoms are being crushed.
BBC – China Daily
#AceNewsServices – BEIJING – (Reuters) – China released on Thursday three activists who had been detained for a month for attending a meeting to commemorate the military suppression of pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989, their lawyers said.
The activists were freed a day after the 25th anniversary of the bloody crackdown, marked by tens of thousands of people in Hong Kong, even as Chinese authorities sought to whitewash the event in the mainland.
Two of their peers remained in custody.
The detentions had sparked criticism from the United States and the European Union, with both calling for their release. China issued new, stronger objections to renewed complaints from the United States and lodged a diplomatic protest.
For the ruling Communist Party, the 1989 demonstrations that clogged Tiananmen Square in Beijing and spread to other cities remain taboo. The government has never released a death toll for the crackdown, but estimates from human rights groups and witnesses range from several hundred to several thousand.
Liu Di and Hu Shigen, both dissident writers, and Xu Youyu, a research fellow with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a government think tank, were released on bail, their lawyers and a relative said.
All three had been detained for “causing a disturbance” in connection with the meeting held in a private apartment.
China also has lodged a diplomatic protest over US remarks on the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown, Reuters said.
The White House had honoured those who were killed in the action to crush the protests and said it would support the rights that the protesters sought. China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Beijing was “strongly dissatisfied” and “firmly opposed” to the US statement, Xinhua reported, adding that it had “lodged solemn representations” with Washington.
#AceNewsServices – BEIJING – June 04 – China is marking 25 years since the suppression of pro-democracy protests on Wednesday under a cloak of security, Reuters reported.
The 1989 ‘counter-revolutionary’ demonstrations on Tiananmen Square, which spread to other cities, have never been publicly marked in mainland China.
Every year, there are commemorations in Hong Kong and in self-ruled Taiwan.
Several governments including the United States urged China to account for what happened on June 4, 1989, comments that riled China, which has said the protest movement was “counter-revolutionary”. Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama used the anniversary to call on China to embrace democracy.
China has never released a death toll for the crackdown, but estimates from human rights groups and witnesses range from several hundred to several thousand.
Troops shot their way into central Beijing after demonstrators had clogged Tiananmen Square in Beijing for about six weeks.
There were also protests in many other cities.
Taking no chances on Wednesday, police, soldiers and plain-clothes security personnel enveloped Tiananmen Square, checking identity cards and rummaging through bags looking for any hint that people might try to sneak onto the square to commemorate the day.
Police escorted a Reuters reporter off the square, which was thronged with tourists, saying it was closed to foreign media. Police also detained another Reuters journalist for trying to report on the anniversary in one of Beijing’s university districts, releasing him after a few hours.
Public discussion of the crackdown is off-limits in China. Many young people are unaware of what happened because of years of government efforts to banish memories of the People’s Liberation Army shooting its own citizens.
“They have covered up history. They don’t want people to know the truth of what they did,” veteran activist Hu Jia told Reuters from his home in Beijing, where he said police were present to prevent him from leaving.
“Nobody would have confidence in them if they knew what they did… They should have fallen because of what they did,” he added, speaking by mobile telephone.
Reuters – BBC News – China Daily
#AceNewsServices – BEIJING – May 31 – (AP) – China has indicted eight people on terrorism charges in connection with an attack on Beijing’s iconic Tiananmen Gate last year that killed two tourists and three assailants, the government said Saturday.
The eight were arrested within days of the Oct 28 attack, in which a man drove an SUV through a crowd of tourists before stopping in front of the gate and setting the vehicle on fire.
A Chinese visitor and a tourist from the Philippines were killed, along with the vehicle’s driver, his wife and mother-in-law, according to Chinese authorities.
The attack was the first to strike Beijing in recent memory. It pointed to a new level of violence and lethal intent in the long simmering insurgency against Chinese rule in the far north-western region of Xinjiang waged by radicals among the native Turkic Uighur Muslim population.
A notice about the indictments posted on the regional prosecutor’s website said the eight would stand trial at the intermediate court in Xinjiang’s capital, Urumqi.
They were accused of organising, leading and participating in a terrorist organisation, as well as endangering public security.
The charges are punishable by a maximum penalty of death.
Ace Related News:
- Fox News – 31/05/2014 – http://tinyurl.com/mfwuya4
It takes a very significant date for the word “today” to be deemed too sensitive to mention. But 24 years after the Chinese government’s bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square, “today” is part of a long list of search terms that have been censored on Sina Weibo, the country’s most popular microblog.
Other banned words include “tomorrow,” “that year,” “special day,” and many number combinations that could refer to 4 June 1989, such as 6-4, 64, 63+1, 65-1, and 35 (shorthand for May 35th).
Chinese Communist party authorities, fearing a threat to their legitimacy, forbid open discussion of the so-called “June 4th incident” in the country’s media and on its internet. Yet internet users have reacted by using ever-more oblique references to commemorate the tragedy, treating censors to an elaborate game of cat-and-mouse.