Death sentence in China factory brawl

A Chinese court on Saturday sentenced to death a man from the Han Chinese majority ethnic group for his role in a race brawl that sparked July's mass riots in China’s Xinjiang region.

The ethnic violence in the far west Muslim majority Xinjiang region, which claimed at least 197 lives and left more than 1,000 injured, was believed to have been triggered by racial violence between Han Chinese and Uighurs in a factory in southern Guangdong province. Uighurs, an ethnic Turkic-speaking Muslim group, are one of 55 minority groups in China and are native to Xinjiang. The June 26 factory brawl in Shaoguan city left two Uighurs dead.

One Han Chinese man was sentenced to death by a local court for his role in the violence while another was given life imprisonment, China’s State-run Xinhua news agency reported. Nine others were given prison terms between five to eight years. Three Uighur factory workers were also convicted, and given prison terms from five to six years.

The violence reportedly began when a Uighur worker “was found chasing a Han woman intern” in the factory, the Shaoguan court was told.

On July 5, mass riots broke out in Urumqi, the capital city of Xinjiang, following a protest march by local Uighurs who were demanding a government investigation into the two deaths in Shaoguan.

At least 197 people, mostly Han Chinese, were killed in riots that broke out following the protest, in what was the biggest ethnic unrest China has seen in recent memory.

At least 825 people, mostly Uighur, have been detained in connection with the riots and charges have been brought against 108 of them, State media reported this week. Of them, 21 have been charged with murder, arson and robbery, and will be the first group to stand trial.

No date has yet been fixed for the trial. Chinese government officials said those found guilty would be “severely punished”, and may face the death penalty.

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Printable version | Jul 27, 2021 8:58:47 AM |

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