Move to stop bomb hoaxes

Updated: 2013-09-30 08:07

(China Daily)

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It was indeed necessary and timely for the Supreme People's Court to release on Sunday its interpretations on the application of the law in cases involving starting and deliberately disseminating rumors that might disrupt social order.

Against the background that some people do not think twice about starting and disseminating rumors that result in the disruption of public order, the interpretations, which come into effect on Monday, set out how the serious consequences of such crimes should be defined in the application of the law. This is important both for ordinary citizens and judicial departments.

For ordinary citizens, the interpretations explicitly explain what kinds of false information should not be spread, and they make it easier for the courts to apply the law.

In the four days from May 15 to 18, there were six cases involving the starting and spreading of rumors about explosives on board aircraft, which caused 22 flights to either delay taking off, return to the airport they took off from, or divert to a nearby airport. Some people fabricated a bomb rumor simply out of curiosity. Some even considered such a rumor a joke.

With the new interpretations, people should have second thoughts before they send a text message or micro message saying there is a bomb on an airplane and they should be careful when they send such messages they receive to others. They must make sure that the information is true before passing it on, since the interpretations say that those who disseminate the rumor with no malice but whose dissemination has serious consequences, such as causing chaos in public venues or the disruption of social order, will be subject to criminal punishment.

What is noteworthy about the interpretations is the emphasis on the consequences, which they specify as causing chaos in public venues such as airports, stations, shopping malls, theaters and piers, affecting the operation of airplanes, trains, ships and so on, causing the suspension of work in schools, hospitals, factories and government departments, disrupting the order of villages and communities and causing the police and fire brigade to take emergent actions.

Hopefully the strict application of law will effectively safeguard social order so people can lead a peaceful life.

(China Daily USA 09/30/2013 page11)