The Uighur region of China

China Denies Uighur Spying Links

The Chinese Government denies any involvement in espionage against refugees of Uighur origin in Sweden. Monday's conviction in the Stockholm District Court of a 62-year-old Uighur is "sheer nonsense", a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman told the news agency Reuters.

According to the court, the man from the Turkic-speaking region in northwest China had passed on information about the health, travels and political leanings of other exiled Uighurs in Sweden to a diplomat and journalist, who was working for the Chinese intelligence service.

The information, the court said, "could cause significant damage to Uighurs in and outside China." And the crimes - committed from January 2008 through June 2009 - were branded "especially egregious due to the fact that the espionage served a large power that does not fully respect human rights."

Chinese officials reacted angrily to the conviction. "This kind of criticism of China is sheer nonsense and has ulterior motives," the Foreign Office spokesperson told Reuters and claimed that Chinese diplomats uphold the Vienna Convention in going about their jobs.

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