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Kyrgyz Citizen Sentenced To Death In China

URUMQI, China -- A Kyrgyz citizen has been sentenced to death in western China on drug-related charges, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Azat Erkebaev, head of the visa section of the Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry in Urumqi, capital of China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, told RFE/RL that he did not know when the sentence was due to be carried out.

Erkebaev added that 15 other Kyrgyz citizens were currently in custody in Xinjiang. Erkebaev said that in 12 of the cases the court has already issued verdicts, while the other three trials are ongoing.

Most of the Kyrgyz are charged with selling drugs, which is often punishable by death in China.

The Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry says there are some 1,500 entrepreneurs from Kyrgyzstan regularly conducting business in Xinjiang, where an estimated 200,000 ethnic Kyrgyz live.

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