Nine ethnic Uighurs have been jailed in western China’s restive Xinjiang region for inciting separatism and disturbing public order, the court and an exiled rights group said Wednesday.
The World Uyghur Congress (WUC) said the nine men were sentenced to between seven and 10 years in prison on various charges, including harbouring “extremist religious thoughts” and holding “underground religious meetings”.
Spokesman Dilxat Raxit denounced the verdicts as political persecution of Xinjiang’s largely Muslim ethnic minority.
“The court verdicts were reached without any fundamental legal procedures and were a result of the political needs of China,” Raxit said in a statement.
“China is using heavy sentences to persecute and completely deprive the rights of legal defence and appeal of the defendants.”
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