5 convicted in Kashgar on terror-related charges

Updated: 2014-05-09 20:04

By Gao Bo in Urumqi (chinadaily.com.cn)

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Five people were recently sentenced to up to 15 years in prison for separatism and endangering national security, Xinjiang Daily on Thursday.

The trial of the five was jointly carried out by the municipal and prefectural people's courts in Kashgar. A gallery of more than 300 people, including local cadres and students, witnessed the trial.

The five were convicted in five separate cases of using secure digital memory cards with content from the East Turkistan Islamic Movement; using audiovisual materials downloaded from the Internet to spread jihadist ideas; instigating terrorism attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan; preaching extremist religious ideas to young people; and keeping machetes and other weapons for planned attacks. The prison sentences ranged from 7 to 15 years.

The Ministry of Public Security has said that the East Turkistan Islamic Movement, a separatist group that has been labeled a terrorist organization by the UN Security Council and the Chinese and US governments, uses the Internet to teach terrorism skills, such as making explosives. In May 2011, the organization called on extremists and terrorists to carry out attacks on the Chinese government in a video posted on the Internet.

On March 31, departments including the Xinjiang Supreme People's Court of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, the region's People's Procuratorate and the Public Security Bureau published an announcement that editing, broadcasting or possessing audio or video materials that incite violence and terrorism would be punishable by law.

On the forbidden list are audio and video products that popularize violence and terrorism, religious extremism or separatism, especially those that spread jihadist thought or teach how to make and use explosives and guns.