Voice of America interviewed IEMS’ Barry Sautman for his comments on proposed Chinese anti-terror laws pushed after a brutal terrorist attack at a Kunming train station in early March 2014 leaving 29 dead and 143 injured.
Barry Sautman had the following to say on the issue:
“Together with religious extremism and separatism, terrorism is considered one of the three main evils threatening China’s stability. That is why discussions about terrorism are deeply linked with long-running unrest in Xinjiang, home to the Muslim Uighur ethnic minority.
“To some extent China is filling in a hole which other countries have already filled in,” said Barry Sautman, a professor at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. “But of course this does not mean that up till now China has not had a mechanism for punishing people who are convicted of terrorism.””
“With violent acts, individuals have been charged with crimes such as leading a terrorist organization, murder, arson, or damaging property. In other instances, such as with Uighur scholar Ilham Tohti, individuals have been charged with separatism after they openly criticized government policy towards Xinjiang.
“It is not so much that the Chinese government feels it needs a greater set of laws to deal with terrorists actions,” Sautman said. “Rather, it’s to show that China is part of a war of terror in conjunction with similar other nations in the world who have similarly been affected by terrorists actions.””
“Analysts say that by standardizing laws there will be more clarity on what constitutes a crime and what evidence needs to be presented for a court to convict a suspect. However, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology’s Sautman says Chinese laws often are worded in a vague manner that leaves considerable room for political and judicial authorities to rule on a case-by-case basis.”
Read the full article here: China Considers Tougher Anti-terror Measures
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