“China jails Uighurs on separatism charges: reports”

And just to the north of the ongoing crisis in Tibet, China is working to keep Xinjiang unstable as well:

Courts in a restive region of west China with a large Muslim population have jailed 20 people for up to 15 years for using the Internet to incite separatism and “holy war”, state media said Thursday.

The sentences were immediately condemned by a group representing China’s mostly Muslim Uighur ethnic minority, which said they were aimed at silencing critics of Beijing’s policies in the Xinjiang region.

“These criminals used mobile phones, and other media to watch, copy and publicise ‘holy war’ and terrorism through pictures and audio visual materials,” a report on the trials in on Xinjiang’s government-run Tianshan news site said.

“China is meting out heavy sentences to Uighurs who use the Internet to access information that is not controlled by the authorities and who are expressing opposing political views,” Dilxat Raxit, spokesman for the World Uyghur Congress, told AFP in a statement.

“These people were seeking freedom and were fighting against institutional persecution.”

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Filed under ethnic conflict, Xinjiang

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