URUMQI, June 5 (Xinhua) -- Nine people were sentenced to death for terrorism in northwest China's Xinjiang on Thursday.
Local courts in six cities and prefectures sentenced 81 defendants in 23 terrorism cases to death, life imprisonment and fixed-term imprisonment, according to the regional higher people's court.
In addition to the nine given the death penalty, three others received the death penalty with a two-year reprieve. In the 23 cases, 68 people in 13 cases committed the crimes of organizing, leading or participating in terrorist organizations, intentional homicide, arson or illegal manufacture, storage and transport of explosives.
Another 13 people in 10 cases were sentenced for making and spreading audio or video information on terrorism, inciting ethnic hatred and discrimination, or teaching criminal methods.
The crimes were the focus of a special operation against terrorism, said the regional higher people's court.
Adudibaseyt Kader and three others were sentenced to death for several acts which killed and injured many innocent people, aroused significant threats and damage to public security, as well as people's lives and property.
Abdueziz Mehmut and 16 others repeatedly made large amounts of explosives and deliberately carried out attacks on local police stations and government, severely injuring one policeman. They received the death penalty with a two-year reprieve, life imprisonment and fixed-term imprisonments.
Memet Abdurehim joined the terrorist organization abroad. After returning to China, he started to spread religious extremism, taught bomb making and trained the gang members. He received life imprisonment and was deprived of political rights for life. Two other gang members were sentenced to ten years each.
Turgun Ghupur and his complice spread massive terror and extremist information online, openly inciting ethnic hatred and discrimination. They received ten and five years' imprisonment respectively.
Culprits were severely punished, while those with lighter crimes or pleaded guilty received lesser or reduced punishments, according to the regional higher people's court.
Local courts invited the public of all ethnic groups to attend the trials. They ensured the defendants' rights to a defence and to use their native languages, as well as the litigious rights of the defenders and other participants.
The public trial and sentencing asserts the resolution of the people's court in cracking down the terrorist crime. Courts of all levels will steadily insist on the strike-hard policy on all crimes which endanger national and public security, according to the regional higher people's court.
The number of terror-related groups apprehended in Xinjiang increased from about 140 in 2010 to more than 200 last year, according to regional authorities.
China's leaders have vowed to resolutely stop terrorism and severely punish terrorists. In May, many Chinese cities, including Beijing and Kunming, organized large-scale anti-terror drills.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for "nets spread from the earth to the sky" to defend against terrorism in Xinjiang, stressing long-term stability as the main goal for the region.
Xi made the remarks at the second central work conference on northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in late May.
While urging strengthened precautions and international anti-terrorism cooperation, Xi called for "walls made of bronze and steel" to defeat terrorists.