Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Unwarranted Punishment

The Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is still on edge after the alleged syringe attacks have subsided and police have so far arrested 76 suspects.
Last Saturday, three Uygurs were convicted of syringe stabbings in the capital Urumqi.
The Municipal Intermediate People's Court sentenced Yilipan Yilihamu, 19, to 15 years in prison for apparently using a needle to attack a woman on August 28. In another trial, 34-year-old Muhutaerjiang Turdi got 10 years, and Aimannisha Guli, 22, was sentenced to seven years. The pair had allegedly threatened a taxi driver with a syringe on August 29 and robbed him of 710 yuan which they used to buy drugs.
Meanwhile, Xinjiang officials have found nothing toxic in the blood samples taken from 250 victims in some alleged syringe attacks in Urumqi. Qian Jun, head of the disease control and biological security office with China's Academy of Military Medical Sciences, said the academy's Beijing lab found no radioactive substances, toxic chemicals or HIV virus. Neither were the samples contaminated with other dangerous viruses or chemicals like anthrax.
As a result, these three people in prison should not even be put in the slammer for such a long period of time -- there was no definitive proof they stabbed anyone, and if they did, there was no evidence to show the syringes contained anything dangerous. 
These convictions are completely blown out of proportion. They are politically motivated to quell public dissatisfaction over how the incidents were handled, creating hysteria among the public, mostly Han Chinese.
This shows that while the government is doing its best to calm the public down and make people realize their fears are groundless, it also shows the government has no one to blame but itself for creating such a tension-filled region.
Also, a court that follows the rule of law would have given them lighter sentences, and in the case of the couple threatening the taxi driver, treatment for drug abuse. 
However, this is a country of one-party rule, where it does everything in its power, regardless of how ludicrous it may be, to maintain control.

1 comment:

gung said...

old chinese wisdom: to quell chaos use heavy punishment. for these subversives it seems appropiate.