Xinjiang toughens anti-terror stance

Updated: 2016-08-03 07:42

By Cui Jia(China Daily)

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New regulations limit expansion of concepts used to promote extremism

The latest anti-terrorism regulation in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region will help to prevent terrorists from using religion to lure people into terrorist activities, anti-terrorism experts said on Tuesday.

Under the new regulation, which took effect on Monday, people who expand the concept of halal in Islam - which means adherence to dietary laws - to include other areas of life will face detention and fines.

In recent years, the region has seen many cases of terrorists and extremists making people believe that bank notes, ID cards and marriage certificates are not halal, so people become isolated from modern society and are easily radicalized.

The regulation, which is a legal interpretation of China's Anti-Terrorism Law, will also punish those who use the preaching of religious teachings to promote terrorism or extremism.

"The detailed regulation is drafted to deal with the anti-terrorism situations that are unique in Xinjiang, which faces a greater terrorist threat than any other place in China," said Li Wei, an anti-terrorism expert at China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.

Xinjiang has always been China's front line against terrorism. The penetration of religious extremism has led to an increasing number of terrorist attacks in recent years.

"Many acts of religious extremism used by terrorists to manipulate others are not clarified in the Anti-Terrorism Law. Including them in the legal interpretation can help Xinjiang prevent people from getting involved in terrorist activities," he said.

The Anti-Terrorism Law, which was implemented on Jan 1, is a general guideline for China's anti-terrorism work, and Xinjiang desperately needs the legal interpretation to make sure the law in the region is practical, Li said.

The regulation was passed by the Standing Committee of the Xinjiang regional People's Congress on Friday. Xinjiang is the first provincial-level region to introduce the legal interpretation of the Anti-Terrorism Law.

"Authorities in Xinjiang have gained rich experiences in combating terrorism in recent years. Such experiences have helped us to make sure the legal interpretation can effectively help Xinjiang fight terrorism in accordance with law," said Lu Ping, a member of the Standing Committee.

The regulation also gives a clear guideline for how to handle terrorist criminals in prison. Leaders of terrorist organizations and terrorist convicts who incite others while serving sentences will receive solitary confinement.

Terror convicts now need to go through risk assessments six months before release, and local courts are required to decide if the convicts can be released.

Acts of terrorism defined in the latest legal interpretation

Funding, carrying out or plotting terrorist activities after receiving instructions from individuals or terrorist organizations from home or abroad.

Setting up terrorist organizations and recruiting members to organize, plan or carry out terrorist activities by preaching terrorism and religious extremism to others.

Providing facilities or organizing others for physical or tactical training for those who plan to carry out terrorist activities.

Providing assistance in transporting those who are involved in terrorist organizations' training and recruitment activities, as well as plotting or carrying out attacks.

Crossing borders illegally to receive terrorist training or joining terrorist organizations.

Using cellphones, internet, video or audio files or publications to spread terrorism and extremism.