Judicial authorities in China’s northwestern Xinjiang region have sentenced two former officials to death for collaborating in separatist activities.
According to Xinhua news agency, Wang Langtao, vice president of the Xinjiang Higher People’s Court, told a press conference that former officials Shirzat Bawudun and Sattar Sawut have been sentenced to death with a two-year suspended sentence after pleading guilty and failing to file appeals against the crimes they have been charged with.
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Shirzat Bawudun was an official of the Xinjiang provincial Justice Department and was convicted of belonging to the East Turkestan Independence Movement, a militia group that Beijing says claims Xinjiang’s independence and collaborates with foreign separatist forces.
Sattar Sawut, for his part, was an official in the Education Department of the same province and, according to the court that sentenced him, during his work “strongly demanded that content preaching ethnic separatism, violence, terrorism and religious extremism be incorporated into textbooks to divide the state”.
Both former officials have also been accused of “taking advantage” of their positions to accept bribes but have been convicted of “dividing the country”.
In recent weeks, China has been sanctioned by several Western countries for allegedly violating human rights in the Xinjiang region. For its part, the Asian giant has denied these accusations and accused the West of “interfering” in internal affairs.
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