Deputies eye national anti-terrorism law in China

Deputies eye national anti-terrorism law in China

A suggestion that the top legislature consider drafting a national anti-terrorism law following this month's fatal attack in Kunming has been made by deputies to the 12th National People's Congress.

The 60-member delegation from the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region has made a group suggestion to the NPC, asking it to list the law in the plan for legislation.

China does not yet have an anti-terrorism law.

A knife attack at Kunming Railway Station, in the capital of Yunnan province, on March 1 left 29 people dead and more than 140 injured.

Police say the attack was carried out by five members of an eight-member terrorist cell led by Abudulreyim Kurban and that the attackers are terrorists from Xinjiang.

Terrorist attacks have become more frequent in China, especially in Xinjiang. According to the suggestion, an anti-terrorism law is needed urgently, as the current legal system cannot fully handle such violent crimes.

The legal framework covering terrorist crimes in the Criminal Law and its amendments targets those who commit such crimes. It stipulates harsh punishments for terrorists, but lacks effective measures to prevent or stop the crimes, the suggestion states.

It says the current prosecution procedure for terrorist-related cases is not practical, there are insufficient charges covering such crimes and current legal definitions for terrorist activities lack clarity.

As a result, most terrorist suspects in Xinjiang are often charged with offences such as intentional homicide or arson, rather than organising, leading or participating in terrorist activities, it states.

Many attacks in Xinjiang have stemmed from religious extremism playing a key role in terrorists' organising cells with the aim of a jihad, or holy war, being waged through violence.

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