China / Society

2 sentenced to death for murder of imam

By CUI JIA (China Daily) Updated: 2014-09-29 06:53

Two teenage males were sentenced to death and a third man received life in prison on Sunday for the July 30 murder of Juma Tayier, an imam of the influential Id Kah mosque in Kashgar, the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

Juma, 74, had just performed a routine sunrise prayer at 6:58 am on July 30 at Id Kah when he was attacked and killed by three people. Police fatally shot two suspects at the scene, and the third, Nurmemet Abidili, 19, was arrested.

Police arrested Aini Aishan, 18, in the city of Hotan two days after the killing for allegedly plotting the attack.

On Sunday, the Kasghar Intermediate People's Court handed down death sentences to Nurmemet and Aini, while sentencing Atawula Turson to life in prison for participating in terrorist activities and intentional homicide.

The court said Aini founded and led a small terrorist organization-whose members included Nurmemet and Atawula-that practiced religious extremism.

Aini showed members videos that detailed terrorist activities and organized physical training sessions to prepare for potential attacks, according to the Kasghar intermediate court.

It also said Aini masterminded the July 30 murder because he believed Juma twisted the meaning of the Quran and that killing someone so influential would have an impact, Xinjiang Daily reported.

Aini, Atawula and other members of the terrorist organization got the axes used to kill Juma and also visited Id Kah several times before July 30 to prepare for the attack, according to the court.

The court presented as evidence photos of the murder weapons and showed surveillance videos of the attack during the trial.

Aini worked at construction sites in Hotan after graduating in October 2012 from junior high school in Kezilesu township in Kashgar's Jiashi county.

Police said Aini made contact with a local religious extremist group in January 2013 and obtained violent terrorist videos as well as prohibited religious publications so he could preach to other people, according to local police.

Hot Topics