(From The Globe and Mail)

China has reduced the sentence for Huseyin Celil, the Canadian man imprisoned for life on terrorism-related charges and endangering state security.

Huseyin Celil and one of his youngest children in a photo taken shortly before his arrest in 2006

China’s state-run Xinhua news agency said he had apologized for bringing “unmendable damages” to the country.

“I will apologize repeatedly and with sincerity to the (Communist) Party, the government and society, to the young people and their families, who were contaminated by me with ideas of violence and terrorism, and hence lost their youth and even life,” he was quoted as saying.

Chinese authorities also commuted sentences for 10 other prisoners in China’s far western Xinjiang region, Xinhua said. Seven of those had life sentences reduced to jail terms of 19.5 or 20 years. The news agency did not make clear whether Celil was one of them, nor did court websites in Xinjiang.

Celil was imprisoned in 2007.

He was first arrested in China in 1994 and charged with murder and terrorism-related activities but escaped the country later that year. After gaining refugee status in Turkey, he moved to Canada in 2001. He received a Canadian passport in 2005, and the following year travelled to Uzbekistan to visit his wife’s family.

Uzbek police arrested him and sent him to China, where his Canadian citizenship was not recognized. Canadian diplomats were not allowed to attend his trial or a subsequent appeal, nor were they permitted to meet him. Read More

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