Four more death sentences handed down after Chinese ethnic riots

China sentenced four more people to death for involvement in ethnic rioting last year in the restive far-western region of Xinjiang, a state news agency said.

China sentenced four more people to death for involvement in ethnic rioting last year in the restive far-western region of Xinjiang, a state news agency said.

The July 5 violence began as Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking minority ethnic group, protested the deaths of Uighur factory workers in an earlier brawl in southern China and then clashed with police in the Xinjiang regional capital of Urumqi.

The crowd scattered throughout the city, attacking majority Han Chinese and burning cars. Nearly 200 people, mostly Hans, were killed, according to the government.

Two days later, Uighurs were targeted in revenge attacks. The riots were the country’s worst ethnic violence in decades.

The Intermediate People’s Court in Urumqi handed down death sentences on Monday to four people for “extremely serious crimes” during the riots, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

The report did not give details of the reported crimes. Another person was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve – a penalty usually commuted to life in prison – while eight others were given sentences of up to life imprisonment, Xinhua said.

Based on their names, all those given death sentences appeared to be Uighurs.

The verdicts bring the number of people who have been sentenced to death for involvement in the riots to about two dozen, including nine who have already been executed.

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