Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Man in China sentenced to 6 years in prison for growing a beard

A Uighur man in China has been sentenced to six years in prison for 'provoking trouble' because he grew a beard. Above, a rare photo of two men from the Uighur minority who were not involved in the court case

A man in China has been sentenced to six years in prison for 'provoking trouble' because he grew a beard.
The 38-year-old from the Uighur minority received several warnings before attending court in Kashgar, local newspapers reported.
His wife was also given a two-year sentence for wearing a veil that hid her face.
In China authorities widely discourage growing a beard because they say it is linked to extremist ideals. The Uighurs vehemently dispute this claim.



The unnamed man started growing facial hair in 2010 before being accused of 'picking quarrels and provoking trouble' by officials.
A campaign dubbed 'Project Beauty' similarly encourages women to leave their heads bare and abandon wearing the veil - a relatively widespread practice among the Uighurs.

Speaking after the court case officials said: 'Since the beginning of the year, a certain number of people breaking the regulation on beards, veils and burqa have been prosecuted and sentenced.'
The repression of the Uighurs has been fanning tensions in the region for more than a year.

Violence increased last year and at least 200 people were killed in a series of bombings and deadly clashes with security forces.
In April authorities in Xinjiang's Shaya county offered cash to informants to report on neighbours with excessive facial hair.
And in August authorities in Karamay city banned people with large beards or Islamic clothing from travelling on public buses.

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