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Originally published Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 2:17 AM

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China jails 20 Uighurs in far west Xinjiang

Chinese state media say 20 ethnic Uighurs in the far western region of Xinjiang have been convicted on charges including terrorism and separatism, and given sentences of up to life in prison.

The Associated Press

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BEIJING —

Chinese state media say 20 ethnic Uighurs in the far western region of Xinjiang have been convicted on charges including terrorism and separatism, and given sentences of up to life in prison.

The government-run news portal Tianshan Net said Tuesday that a Kashgar court found 19 Uighurs in four groups guilty of spreading multimedia materials promoting terrorism. It says one of the groups plotted to assassinate local law officers, and that another tested bombs. Tianshan says another Xinjiang court sentenced one Uighur man to 10 years in prison for spreading online terrorism.

Dilxat Raxit, of the Germany-based World Uyghur Congress, says the men did innocuous things like listen to Radio Free Asia and forward video clips, and alleged that Beijing uses harsh court sentences to suppress the ethnic Muslim Uighurs.

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