Xinjiang commutes sentences for 11 offenders

Updated: 2016-02-03 00:38


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URUMQI -- Authorities in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region have commuted 11 offenders who were convicted of jeopardizing national security.

Seven of the severe offenders were commuted from life to jail terms ranging from 19.5 years to 20 years, according to a decision from the regional Higher People's Court announced at a meeting at Xinjiang's First Prison Monday.

Among these were principal criminals who instigated secessionist activities or participated in violent terrorist attacks in Xinjiang. "They jeopardized China's national security, disrupted social stability and caused heavy losses of lives and property," said Mutalifu Wubli, president of Xinjiang's Higher People's Court.

The other four prisoners had their jail terms shortened by six months from the initial 8, 13 and 15 years, according to the court's decision.

One of the convicts, Memet Tohti Memet Rozi, had close contact with the East Turkestan Islamic Movement and the Taliban terrorist groups. Court investigations found he set up terrorist training bases in Afghanistan, where native citizens of Xinjiang were trained to become terrorists.

"I could not hold back my tears when I learned of the commution," said Memet Tohti Memet Rozi. "I had difficulty falling asleep for several nights."

He said he had woken up to his past ignorance and was determined to mend his ways. "I'm now split with all separatists and terrorists and will strive to become a law abiding citizen."

Yushanjiang Jelili, who joined the East Turkestan Islamic Movement and the East Turkestan Liberation Organization, apologized for his crimes, which he said "brought unmendable damages" to his country, his hometown and his family.