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Rumors in Urumqi may mean jail

[ 2009-09-08 11:11]     字号 [] [] []  
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Words are being treated as severely as weapons in Urumqi, with officials ready to jail those who spread false rumors.

Rumormongers in the city, capital of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, will face penalties just as harsh as those involved in the recent syringe stabbings, which once again injected tension into the city split on ethnic lines.

"Even the ones who cause panic among the public by threatening people with nontoxic needles or syringes will receive more than five years in prison," said a notice jointly released by city's court, prosecutor's office and police department late Sunday night.

It stated that those who deliberately spread false information about people being stabbed with needles could be jailed for up to five years.

In an unusual move, the notice also allows civilians to seize anyone seen stabbing others with a syringe and turn them over to authorities.

In addition, citizens can apprehend and hand over wanted suspects to police, the announcement said.

The new party chief in Urumqi, whose predecessor was sacked after tens of thousands took to the streets to protest the previously unreported syringe stabbings, said his first task was to restore public security to the city.

"I will lead cadres and residents of all ethnic groups in the city to conquer all difficulties, and mobilize all social forces to maintain stability," said Zhu Hailun, newly inaugurated secretary of the Urumqi Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China.

He ordered civil servants to go door to door to help solve grassroots disputes and allay public uneasiness.

The police chief of the regional government was also dismissed on Saturday.

The removals follow the July 5 riot in Urumqi which left 197 people dead, and last week's protests decrying the syringe attacks and demanding security guarantees.

Five people died and at least 14 were hospitalized because of injuries received during the protests.

"The incident (syringe attacks) has seriously affected normal public life and caused social disturbance," said Wang Lequan, secretary of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regional Committee of the CPC.


1. How many people died on July 5 following a riot in Urumqi?

2. How many people died last week after protests?

3. What was the incident that led to the protest last week?


1. 197.

2. 5.

3. Unreported syringe stabbings.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Rumors in Urumqi may mean jail

Rumors in Urumqi may mean jailBrendan joined The China Daily in 2007 as a language polisher in the Language Tips Department, where he writes a regular column for Chinese English Language learners, reads audio news for listeners and anchors the weekly video news in addition to assisting with on location stories. Elsewhere he writes Op'Ed pieces with a China focus that feature in the Daily's Website opinion section.

He received his B.A. and Post Grad Dip from Curtin University in 1997 and his Masters in Community Development and Management from Charles Darwin University in 2003. He has taught in Japan, England, Australia and most recently China. His articles have featured in the Bangkok Post, The Taipei Times, The Asia News Network and in-flight magazines.