A Chinese court in Muslim Xinjiang region has sentenced a 38 year old Uighur man for six years over growing a beard while his wife was given two years for covering her face with a veil.
According to details, the man had started growing his beard in 2010 while his wife wore a veil covering her face. Couple, whose identity and ethnic group were not identified, was found guilty of provoking trouble. They had received several warnings to cut the beard and to remove the veil and burka before being charged.
For more than a year, authorities in Xinjiang have started campaign against men who grow beard.
The government has also introduced a campaign called “Project Beauty”, which encourages women to leave their heads bare and stop covering their faces with a veil.
Authorities widely discourage growing a beard in China because they say it is linked to extremist’s morals.
Last year, authorities in Karamay city banned residents with large beards or Islamic clothing from travelling on public buses.
Xinjiang’s 10 million-plus Turkic-speaking Uighurs is a Turkic Muslim ethnic group that shares close dialectal and cultural links with central Asia.
“A heavy sentence for growing a long beard is typical of the political persecution” faced by Uighurs, said Dilxat Raxit, a spokesman for the exiled World Uyghur Congress.
He also said “If a Chinese person grows a long beard, its personal freedom and fashion; if a Uighur does, he’s a religious extremist”.
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