June 22, 2015 By Interactive News Desk

In China Uighurs Face Ban on Fasting, Mass Arrest


China has imprisoned around two dozen Uighur Muslim leaders , including “ wild imams” who allegedly preach illegally in the Muslim majority region of Xinjiang for “ illegal religious activities”.

The 22 suspects were sentenced to prison terms ranging from five to 16 years at a mass public sentencing in Xinjiang on Monday, the state-controlled China News Service reported. Along with mosque imams, other Muslim leaders who engaged in religious activities after being sacked were sentenced to prison.

It added that others were accused of inciting ethnic hatred, using superstition to destroy the law, and picking quarrels and provoking trouble. Though the Chinese media article did not indicate the ethnicity of the defendants, a vast majority of previous terrorism convictions have involved Uighurs, the largely Muslim and Turkic-speaking people who are more than 90 percent of the city’s population.

In recent years, mass public sentencing has become common in Xinjinang. The state television often shows them taking place in packed outdoor auditoriums. Human rights groups have said that during mass trials and sentencing the accused have been denied the right to defend them. Recently, a court has jailed for life the country’s most prominent advocate for Uighur rights in a case that provoked an outcry among the rights groups. Muslims accuse the government of settling millions of ethnic Han in their territory with the ultimate goal of obliterating its identity and culture.

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