Ethnic riots this past July in Urumqi, China left almost 200 dead. On Monday state-owned China News Service reported that nine of the 12 who had been sentenced to death for their role in the riots have been executed.
There have been a total of 21 convictions over the rioting in Xinjiang, reports BBC news. The riots were between Uighurs and members of China's Han majority in Urumqi, the capital city. The two groups have been at odds for years but the tensions have grown recently.
Eight of the nine convicts had Uighur surnames. According to the CBC, the convicts had been sentenced on charges of murder and other crimes.
The New York Times reports that the news of the executions was buried at the end of the China News Service report.
Xinjiang newspaper reported that local authorities have a new campaign to punish quickly in order to root out rioters.
Human rights groups have been questioning how the government has handled the rioting. Human Rights Watch has gone as far as saying they are violations of international human rights law.
The situation in Xinjiang is much like what happened within the Tibetan community in 2008. The government is accused of being more harsh when the people involved in uprisings are of a certain ethnicity.