Uighur-Han, Uighur-Han conflict, Uighur-Han trials
Uighur-Han arrests
Elizabeth Dalziel/AP Photo
A Uighur minority woman prays at her textile shop at the Sunday Bazaar in Hotan, China, Sunday,
July 12, 2009. A week after rioting in Urumqi security forces were on high alert through out the
western region of Xinjiang.

Uighur-Han Trials to Begin Soon

August 24, 2009 06:30 PM
by Sarah Amandolare
Charges stemming from last month's Uighur-Han riots have been filed, which could bring some closure to the violent situation. Tensions still simmer, however.

Wide Range of Charges

According to the BBC, reports from China Daily say that charges have been brought against "[m]ore than 200 people" for their involvement last month in deadly riots in Xinjiang. Among the charges are "vandalising public property and transport, organising crowds to cause bodily harm to others, robbery, murder and arson," reported the BBC. Trials will likely begin this week in Urumqui, the capital of Xinjiang.

China Daily did not report on the number of Uighurs and Han who will be tried. However, the newspaper did say that at least 170 Uighur lawyers and 20 Han lawyers have been "assigned to the suspects," according to the BBC.

Last month, violent clashes between Han Chinese and ethnic Uighurs resulted in 200 deaths, prompting Chinese police to detain "more than 1,500 people." According to the BBC, most arrests occurred in areas with high Uighur populations.

Background: Tensions simmering

On August 21, a state news agency based in China reported that a group of mostly ethnic Han migrant workers had arrived in the Xinjiang region to pick cotton. According to UPI, "the western region of Xinjiang is predominantly Uighur," and residents wondered why Han migrants were being hired instead of the scores of unemployed Uighurs.

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