[JURIST] The Chinese government has executed nine people sentenced to death for their role in the July Xinjiang riots [JURIST news archive], state media reported [text, in Chinese] Monday. The report indicated that the individuals were executed "according to the law" after their sentences were approved by the Supreme People's Court [official website, in Chinese] but did not provide further details such as the date of the executions or the ethnicity of the deceased. Last month, the Higher People's Court of Xinjiang upheld the sentences, handed down on October 12 and October 15 [JURIST reports], ruling that the sentences were appropriate and supported by sufficient evidence. The nine were convicted of murder, assault, arson, and robbery during July's violent demonstrations that left 200 people dead and many more injured. Also Monday, Chinese prosecutors charged 20 additional suspects [Xinhua report] with murder, arson, robbery, intentional injury, and explosion for their roles during the riots.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] has criticized [JURIST report] the trials for failing to meet Chinese and international fairness and due process standards. The advocacy group claims that the government violated both Chinese law and international standards by failing to announce the trials and closing the proceedings to international journalists and observers. HRW has also claimed that more than 40 Uighur men have disappeared [JURIST report] since being detained by Chinese security forces. In early July, violence broke out [NYT report] in Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang province, between Han Chinese and Uighur residents. The Muslim Uighur population is opposed [BBC backgrounder] to China's restrictive bans on religious practice and says that the recent influx of Han Chinese has disenfranchised non-Chinese-speaking Uighurs.