World News

Sweden jails Uighur Chinese man for spying

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

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

Miahesuti had infiltrated a political body for Uighurs in exile -- the World Uighur Congress -- and would secretly pass information to his contact with the help of a special system for dialing 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.

Uighurs 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 Uighur witnesses both inside Sweden and abroad.

Editing by Ralph Boulton