China / Society

Yunnan builds anti-terror law society

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-09-20 18:52

KUNMING -- An anti-terrorism law society has been established Saturday in Southwest China's Yunnan Province.

Based in the law school of Yunnan University, the organization, one of the few in China specializing in the study of anti-terrorism law, is expected to become a government think , said Qiao Hanrong, head of the society.

Yunnan saw a group of knife-wielding assailants attack civilians at a railway station in the provincial capital of Kunming, which killed 31 people and injured another 141 on March 1. It was one of the worst terror attacks in China.

"Terrorism has become the most severe crisis of social management the Chinese government faces, but legal studies in the field are relatively weak. Law enforcement departments and academic institutions do not interact," said Qiao.

"We hope the society will play a key role in building a scientific, effective and rigorous anti-terrorism mechanism in China," he said.

China does not yet have an anti-terrorism law, although the need is obviously great with the number of attacks in recent years.

In the latest in early August, 37 civilians were killed and another 13 injured in Shache County of Kashgar Prefecture in Xinjiang.

A senior official with the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, said China will draft an anti-terrorism law, if the fight against terrorism requires it, during next year's NPC session in March.

But Zang Tiewei, deputy head of the criminal law division under the Legislative Affairs Commission of NPC's Standing Committee, said the legislature had to follow legal procedure.

It's believed the current legal system can't fully handle such violent crimes as that in Shache and Kunming.

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.

Current prosecution procedures for terror cases are impractical; there are insufficient charges covering such crimes; and current legal definitions lack clarity. As a result, most suspected terrorist are charged with offenses such as intentional homicide or arson, rather than organizing, leading, or participating in terrorist activities.

"What we are going to do is to invite the law makers, researchers and practitioners from the central government, all provincial-level administrations and other countries to join in for exchanges and studies to fill the gap and build a comprehensive anti-terrorism platform," said Qiao.

"We are looking forward to more interaction and more cooperation," he said.

Qiao said the society will make public the results of the studies and cooperation in its publications and website.

Hot Topics