(Reuters) – Local officials in China‘s western Xinjiang region held a public rally for the mass sentencing of criminals on Tuesday, handing out judgements for 55 people and at least three death sentences for crimes such as “violent terrorism”, state media said.
The public sentencing, reminiscent of China’s revolutionary era rallies, attracted a crowd of 7,000 at a sports stadium in Yining city in the northern prefecture of Yili.
Photos showed packed stadium bleachers and trucks parked on the sports field loaded with prisoners in orange vests being guarded by armed police.
The mass trial follows a similar event last week in the region where 39 people were sentenced to jail on terrorism charges.
China is waging a year-long anti-terrorism operation nationwide after a series of attacks, but has focused on Xinjiang, home to a large Muslim Uighur minority, following a series of bloody attacks that Beijing blames on Islamists and separatists from the region.