A 38-year-old man in Kashgar, Xinjiang was sentenced to six years in prison for “provoking trouble” and for growing a beard, while his wife was given a two-year sentence for wearing a veil.
The case comes in the wake of the “Project Beauty” campaign carried out by authorities in Xinjiang, which has encouraged Uyghur women to stop wearing veils. In the last year, authorities have likewise been campaigning against men growing beards, as the practice has been associated with extremist thinking in the restive region.
The couple had “received several warnings” before being charged for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble,” AFP reports, citing the China Youth Daily.
“Since the beginning of the year, a certain number of people breaking the regulation on beards, veils and burqas have been prosecuted and sentenced,” officials in Kashgar were quoted as saying in the paper.
Last year in Karamay, Xinjiang, authorities banned residents from sporting beards, burqas and headscarves on buses.