- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 19, 2007


Uighur Canadian gets life for terrorism

BEIJING — A Uighur Canadian was sentenced to life in prison yesterday for separatism and terrorism, and China warned Canada not to get involved as Ottawa announced it would send its foreign minister to discuss the case.

The court in Urumqi, capital of the tense northwestern region of Xinjiang, convicted Huseyin Celil, 37, of “terrorist activities and plotting to split the country,” Xinhua news agency reported. He was the second ethnic Uighur activist jailed in China this week.

Described by Xinhua as a prominent member of pro-East Turkestan “terrorist organizations.” Mr. Celil was also deprived of his political rights for life. Mr. Celil, also known as Husein Dzhelil, fled China in the mid-1990s and sought asylum through the U.N. refugee office in Turkey, according to Amnesty International.


Counterterrorism drill to be held with India

MOSCOW — Russia and India are to hold a four-day counterterrorism exercise in the Sea of Japan/East Sea, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported yesterday. Starting Tuesday, more than 10 vessels from the two countries will practice repelling terrorist attacks on ships, the agency quoted a Russian Pacific fleet spokesman as saying.

The vessels will operate out of Russia’s southeastern port of Vladivostok, and attack helicopters and a submarine will also take part. The exercise reflects the close military ties between the two countries, though it is unusual for it to take place near Japanese coastal waters.

Russia supplies India with about 70 percent of its military hardware.


2 lawyers face trial for ‘defaming’ regime

HANOI — Two pro-democracy lawyers are to go on trial in Vietnam next month for defaming the communist state, a judicial source said yesterday. The two Hanoi-based lawyers were detained in March for “propagating against” and “defaming” the government. If convicted, they face jail terms of up to 20 years.

“The trial of Nguyen Van Dai and Le Thi Cong Nhan is scheduled for May 11 in Hanoi’s people’s court,” the source said, referring to a decision by a senior party official, but a Foreign Ministry spokesman said he had “no information about the exact date of the trial.” Police said earlier they had confiscated documents the lawyers were about to disseminate to the public, calling for pluralism and democracy in Vietnam and denouncing government human rights violations.

A Vietnamese court in central Hue last month sentenced dissident Catholic priest Nguyen Van Ly, 60, to eight years in prison for spreading propaganda against the government. Father Ly, 60, has been jailed a total of 14 years since the 1970s for peaceful activism against the state.

Weekly notes …

MANILA — The heads of seven men thought to have been kidnapped by the al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group on the volatile southern island of Jolo were delivered to a Philippine army detachment yesterday, the military said. The men — six road project workers and a dried-fish factory worker — were kidnapped at gunpoint in two incidents Monday near Parang on Jolo island, where U.S. troops have been involved in counterterrorism training.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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