Eight people accused of being involved in series of attacks in
Beijing and restive Xinjiang region put to death.
China has executed eight people for alleged “terrorist”
attacks across the country, including three who
“masterminded” a car crash in the capital Beijing’s
Tiananmen Square last year, state media has said.
The official Xinhua news agency said on Sunday that the
eight were involved in several cases in Beijing and in the
restive far northwestern region of Xinjiang.
Three of the executed group “masterminded” the October
2013 attack in the heart of the Chinese capital, the report
said. They were indentified by Xinhua as Huseyin Guxur,
Yusup Wherniyas and Yusup Ehmet.
Five people were killed and 40 injured in the Beijing attack,
when a car plowed into a crowd in the square and burst into
State television showed images of the individuals who have
been executed being led into court and questioned by the
police. It also showed footage of the Tiananmen attack, with
a car being driven into the square.
The five other executions, carried out in recent days, were
punishment for crimes ranging from setting up a “terrorist”
outfit and illegally making explosives to attacking police
officers and killing government officials, Xinhua said.
Xinhua, which cited the Xinjiang region publicity department
in its report, did not say when the executions were carried
Some of those executed were blamed for attacks in
Xinjiang’s prefecture of Aksu, the city of Kashgar and the
town of Hotan, the agency added.
‘Deprived of due process’
China has been cracking down on violent crime in Xinjiang
after a string of deadly attacks there, and it executed 13
people in June.
Human rights activists, however, said that the suspects were
deprived of due process that meets international standards.
They also said that the government’s own repressive policies
have provoked unrest, an accusation Beijing denies.
Xinjiang is the traditional home of Muslim Uighurs who
speak a Turkic language, and China has attributed attacks
there to armed groups, which the government says seek to
establish an independent state called East Turkestan.
Hundreds of people have died in the violence in the region
over the last two years, with dozens jailed in the last month,
some at mass public sentencings reminiscent of China’s
Authorities have tightened security around public transport
in a bid to preempt violent attacks, demanding bus
passengers show identification to travel.
This month a court in Xinjiang sentenced 25 people to jail
for terror-related offences.
A suicide bombing in May killed 39 people at a market in
Xinjiang’s capital of Urumqi, while in March, 29 people were
stabbed to death at a train station in the southwestern city
Beijing does not say how many people it executes each year,
but independent estimates put the total at about 3,000 in
2012, a figure higher than all other countries combined.