Motivazione politica nelle sentenze delle autorità giudiziarie cinesi contro gli Uiguri

L’Associazione Americana degli Uiguri (Uyghur American Association) protesta contro le recenti sentenze comminate ai 21 uiguri imputati di aver causato “disordini” all’inizio del luglio scorso nella provincia del Turkestan Orientale. Nove di questi sono stati persino condannati a morte. Segue l’articolo in inglese.

The Uyghur American Association (UAA) expresses profound disappointment in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) Higher People’s Court’s ruling upholding of the sentences of 21 defendants convicted of charges related to the July 5 unrest in the regional capital of Urumchi. Nine of those convicted were sentenced to death. The trials of the 21 men sentenced in connection with the July 5 unrest did not adhere to standards of either domestic or international law.

The verdicts are slated to be reviewed once more by China’s Supreme People’s Court. Since China’s Supreme Court began reviewing all of the country’s death penalty cases in 2007, it has overturned some sentences issued by lower courts. However, in light of the politicized handling of cases related to the July 5 unrest, it appears unlikely that the death sentences or the prison sentences of any of the 21 men will be overturned.

The well-documented lack of transparency in the Chinese judicial system, especially for Uyghurs, coupled with state-sanctioned threats towards lawyers who may represent Uyghur suspects, illustrates the politicized nature of the death penalty in July 5 cases. Remarks made by Chinese government officials prior to the trials of the 21 men indicate the existence of political pressure to issue death sentences to Uyghurs involved in the July 5 unrest. Urumchi Communist Party secretary Li Zhi, at a press conference on July 8, stated that executions would be used to deal with those involved in the unrest. According to a report published by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, in a July 11 article in the Legal Daily, the president of the Supreme People’s Court, Wang Shengjun, called on courts of all levels to be united in their thinking with central authorities’ judgments and policies. Wang also called for “striking hard in accordance with law” against “plotters, organizers, and key members” of the “serious violent criminal incident of beating, smashing, looting, and burning” that took place on July 5.

As emphasized by the group Human Rights Watch in its recent report on post-July 5 detentions, there is no independent judiciary in China, and both prosecutors and judges in East Turkestan had received instructions from Party authorities regarding the handling of cases related to July 5. In addition, political criteria were used to select judicial personnel assigned to handle the trials.

On October 12, the Intermediate People’s Court of Urumchi sentenced six Uyghur defendants to death on charges of murder and other crimes they were alleged to have committed during the July 5 unrest. A seventh man, Tayirjan Ablimit (Tayirejan Abulimit in Chinese pinyin), was sentenced to life in prison on charges of murder and robbery. On October 14, another 14 men (12 Uyghurs and two Han Chinese men) were tried and sentenced in Urumchi on charges of murder and other crimes related to the unrest. Six of these (five Uyghurs and one Han Chinese man) were sentenced to death, three of them with a two-year reprieve, while others were sentenced to lengthy prison terms. None of the trials were publicly announced beforehand, and all were conducted in less than one day.

On October 27, an official Chinese report stated that three of the men sentenced to death had decided not to appeal their verdicts. The report also indicated that seven of the defendants in the two Urumchi trials had asked family members of their victims for forgiveness. However, UAA urges skepticism with regard to such claims, against a backdrop in which detained and imprisoned Uyghurs are frequently subjected to torture and forced confessions at the hands of the police and judiciary. Uyghurs sentenced on criminal charges are rarely allowed to appeal their verdicts to higher courts, and Uyghur criminal defendants are consistently been denied the right to freely choose their own lawyer.

Uyghur Human Rights Project
Uyghur American Association
1701 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W. Suite 300
Washington, D.C.  20006
Tel: +1 (202) 349 1496
Fax: +1 (202) 349 1491


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