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Separatism to be outlawed in riot-torn Xinjiang region

2009-07-21 15:13 BJT

Special Report: 7.5 Xinjiang Urumqi Riots |

The top legislator from Xinjiang region says the authorities will speed up local laws against separatism following the July 5 riot in Urumqi.

Eligen Imibakhi, chairman of the Standing Committee of the Xinjiang Regional People's Congress, blamed the riots that took 197 lives on extremism, separatism and terrorism at home and abroad.

The country already has a national law against secession but there are no similar regional ones.

Xinjiang is working on legislation to "provide legal assistance to Xinjiang's anti-secession effort and the cracking down on violence and terrorism," he said.

Imibakhi also said the public's lack of understanding of laws is an "urgent problem," adding that the government will distribute legal booklets in minority languages throughout the region.

The area's top political advisor also lambasted the "three forces" of extremism, separatism and terrorism.

Ashat Kerimbay, chairman of region's committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said: "We will have a vehement and long-term struggle against the 'three forces'. It's life or death."