3 Uygurs get 6 years over terrorism in Indonesia
Updated: 2015-07-14 15:04
JAKARTA, Indonesia - An Indonesian court on Monday sentenced three Uygurs to six years in prison after finding them guilty of conspiring with Indonesian militants, including a fugitive who is on the nation's most-wanted list.
A panel of judges at the North Jakarta District Court ruled that Ahmet Mahmud, 20, Abdulbasit Tuzer, 24, and 28-year-old Abdullah - who also goes by Altinci Bayyram - guilty of violating the nation's anti-terrorism and immigration laws.
The men were arrested in September, along with another Uygur named Ahmet Bozoglan and three Indonesian men, while they allegedly were trying to meet Indonesia's most-wanted militant, Abu Wardah Santoso, in Central Sulawesi province.
Santoso, the leader of a group called the East Indonesia Mujahideen, is accused of killing several Indonesian policemen and has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group. Indonesia has outlawed membership in the group.
Presiding Judge Kun Marioso said the panel of three judges found the defendants had conspired with a Santoso-led terrorist group in Poso in Central Sulawesi and used fake Turkish passports. Poso was the site of violence between Christians and Muslims in 2001 and 2002 in which more than 1,000 people died.
The defendants were also ordered to pay $7,535 each or spend six additional months in custody.
Bozoglan and the three Indonesian men are being tried separately, with verdicts expected later this month.
Indonesian authorities initially thought the four Uygurs were from Turkey, where they fled to after leaving the homeland in northwestern China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.
Some members of the Uygur minority have in the past joined the Islamic State group and returned home to engage in terrorist plots, including the Kunming attack last year that saw 31 people killed and more than a hundred injured.
Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, has been hit by a series of deadly attacks by members of the Jemaah Islamiyah network, including the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists. However, in recent years, smaller and less deadly strikes have targeted government authorities, mainly police and anti-terrorism forces.