China jails 45 on terror-related charges in Xinjiang, including 2 for illegal border crossings

Chinese state media say 45 people in the far west region of Xinjiang have been jailed on terrorism-related charges, including two people convicted of organizing illegal border crossings.

The official Xinhua News Agency said Thursday that a court in Karamay sentenced Wei Hai and Chen Qianggui to life imprisonment after they were found to have helped 305 people cross borders illegally for a fee of about $1,000 per person.

Xinhua says those seeking to leave China were influenced by religious extremism and planning to join jihad. They are typically members of the Muslim Uighur minority. Advocates for Uighurs say they are fleeing China to escape repression.

Xinhua says the 43 others were sentenced to between four and 15 years in prison.