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Sweden Jails Uyghur Chinese Man For Spying

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) -- Sweden has sentenced a Uyghur man to a year and four months in prison for spying on a community of Uyghur refugees and passing information to agents for the Chinese state, a court document showed today.

Babur Maihesuti, 62, was convicted for handing information about the health, travels, and political leanings of other Uyghurs to a journalist and diplomat who was, in fact, a Chinese intelligence officer, the document said.

Miahesuti had infiltrated a political body for Uyghurs in exile -- the World Uyghur Congress -- and would secretly pass information to his contact with the help of a special system for dialling telephones, the document said.

"The crime is especially serious because the intelligence served a superpower which does not have full respect for human rights and was given resources to pursue its policies," the document said.

Uyghurs are a Turkic-speaking Muslim people, many of whom chafe at Chinese controls on their religion and culture.

Swedish secret police gathered evidence against Miahesuti mainly through telephone taps and secret interviews of Uyghur witnesses both inside Sweden and abroad.