At least 32 people were jailed in China on Friday, three of them for life, for downloading and spreading terror-related audio and video as authorities crackdown on militants groups in the restive Xinjiang province, which they say are behind recent attacks.
The courts in seven cities and prefectures of Xinjiang, including Urumqi, Aksu, Kizilsu Kirgiz, Ili, Hotan, Turpan and Bortala, handed down the verdicts in 11 terror-related cases.
They were convicted on charges of using their mobile phones and social media to store, download and spread religious extremist and terror-related content. They were also found guilty of organising and leading terror groups.
Of the 32, three were sentenced to life in jail and the rest 29 were sentenced to four to 15 years in prison, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. Chinese security forces are currently on a year long campaign to put down the militancy in Xinjiang where native Muslim Uygur population has been protesting the increasing settlements of Hans from other provinces.
China blamed East Turkestan Islamic Movement, for various attacks in the province and outside. In March, 29 people were stabbed to death at a train station in the southwestern city of Kunming. Around 200 people have died in unrest in Xinjiang in the past year.