China executes three for Kunming attack

24 Mar 2015 / 18:44 H.

    BEIJING: China has executed three people for a mass stabbing that killed 31 people last year, the country's top court said Tuesday, with authorities blaming the attack on separatists from mainly Muslim Xinjiang.
    Iskandar Ehet, Turgun Tohtunyaz and Hasayn Muhammad were put to death for "leading a terrorist organisation and intentional homicide", the Supreme People's Court said in a microblog post.
    China uses both lethal injection and shooting for executions, but the method used this time was not specified.
    The bloodshed in Kunming, in the southwestern province of Yunnan, also saw more than 140 people wounded and was dubbed "China's 9/11" by state-run media.
    Beijing blamed it on "separatists" from the resource-rich far western Xinjiang, where at least 200 have died in attacks and clashes between locals and security forces over the last year.
    Incidents have grown in scale and sophistication and spread beyond the restive region, with the Kunming mass knifing the biggest such attack against civilians outside Xinjiang.
    A female attacker, Patigul Tohti, was pregnant at the time of her arrest and was sentenced to life in prison.
    Rights groups accuse China's government of cultural and religious repression they say fuels unrest in Xinjiang, which borders Central Asia.
    Beijing defends its policies, arguing it has boosted economic development in the area and that it upholds minority and religious rights in a country with 56 recognised ethnic groups.
    China executes more people than the rest of the world combined, according to rights organisations. The country put an estimated 2,400 people to death last year. – AFP

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