A court in Xinjiang has today sentenced three Uighur men to death, following claims in June they had attempted to hijack a plane. Another man was sentenced to life in prison.
The verdict came with little other detail. But this spokesman for the World Uyghur Congress told the UK’s Guardian newspaper it was an unfair trial. He said the men were given state-appointed lawyers who did not defend them properly.
Six men were arrested back in June following the hijacking report. Two of them died shortly in hospital, apparently from injuries they had suffered while on the plane.
The circumstances surrounding the plane violence are murky. Uighur advocates say it was actually a dispute over seating, not a hijacking attempt.
Muslim Uighurs, who live in the western Xinjiang region, are often portrayed by Chinese authorities as extremists or terrorists.
Like Tibetans, Uighurs are a minority group within China, and have protested against oppressive Chinese rule.
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