13000 ‘terrorists’ arrested from Xinjiang since 2014, says China

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China has said that since 2014, they have arrested 13000 ‘terrorists’ from the Muslim dominated Xinjiang province of the country, reported the Reuters.  

The Chinese Government in a policy paper defended its controversial de-radicalisation measures for Muslims in the restive far western region.

Beijing said it needs the measures to stem the threat of Islamist militancy, and calls them vocational training centres, the agency reported.

Legal authorities have adopted a policy that “strikes the right balance between compassion and severity”, the government said in its white paper.

Since 2014, Xinjiang has “destroyed 1,588 violent and terrorist gangs, arrested 12,995 terrorists, seized 2,052 explosive devices, punished 30,645 people for 4,858 illegal religious activities, and confiscated 345,229 copies of illegal religious materials”, it added.

Only a small minority of people face strict punishment, such as ringleaders of terror groups, while those influenced by extremist thinking receive education and training to teach them the error of their ways, the paper said.

Recently, China passed a law to ‘sinicize Islam in the next five years’.

Sinicization is to make something Chinese in character or form, especially non-Chinese societies.

The decision was taken during a meeting with representatives from China’s eight Islamic associations.  “(The officials) agreed to guide Islam to be compatible with socialism and implement measures to Sinicize the religion,” the article on Global Times said.

The development had been criticized as it came after a crackdown on Uighur Muslims in the nation, with the United Nations estimating that over one million Uighurs are being held in internment camps in the Xinjiang province.

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