Death Sentences for Xinjiang Riots

By Anthony Hwang
Published: 2009-10-13

A Chinese court in the Xinjiang region sentenced six individuals to death for their roles in the deadly July riots that left 200 people dead and over 1,600 injured. A seventh person was sentenced to life in prision.

The seven convicted were reported to be Abduwayit, Gheni Yusup, Abdulla Mettohti, Adil Rozi, Nureli Wuxiu'er, Alim Metyusup, and Tayirejan Abulimit.

According to prosecutors, Adukerim Abduwayit committed five murders in the span of two hours with a dagger and pipe wrench. He was also found guilty of arson of a downtown Urumqi forcing thirteen people to jump and causing over 260,000 yuan in damages.

Both Gheni Yusup and Abdulla Mettohti were found guilty of murdering four during the riots and injuring another. The two were also responsible for destruction of property and looting during the riots. Abdulla Metthoti was also convicted of arson which led to the death of five and damages of 1.37 million yuan.

In another case Alim Metyusup and Tayirejan Abulimit were guilty of murdering three and injuring another. Alim Metysum was sentenced to death for murder and arson resulting in fifty thousand yuan of damages.

Tayirejan Abulimit avoided the death penalty by confessing to the charges of murder and robbery and assisting authorities in capture of Alim Metyusup.

This marks the first convictions of individuals involved in the deadly July riots. The riots stemmed from the increasing tensions between the native Uighurs and the Han Chinese. The last few decades have seen millions of Han Chinese move into traditionally Uighur dominant region of Xinjiang.

Numerous random syringe attacks were reported in the city of Urumuqi in the weeks that followed the July riots, and thousands took to the streets to protest the government's response to the attacks.  

Government officials have stated the recent incidents are the work of Uighur separatist terrorist groups.

In response to the protests, Chinese authorities replaced the top Communist Party official in Urumqi and fired the police chief of Xinjiang.

Source Report (Chinese)

Other Sources
BBC: Death sentences for China rioters
CCTV: 6 sentenced to death for murder in Urumqi riot
The Beijing News: 7·5三案公审六人获死刑 维稳工作队再延时一周