BEIJING, March 18 (Xinhua) -- China has been striking at terrorism and extremism in accordance with the law, said a white paper released Monday by China's State Council Information Office.
It is important to stick to the principles of rule of law and a law-based approach in combatting terrorism and extremism in Xinjiang, said the white paper, titled "The Fight Against Terrorism and Extremism and Human Rights Protection in Xinjiang."
The situation is severe and complex; members of all ethnic groups are insistent in their demands that violent and terrorist crimes be punished, and that their lives and property be protected. Therefore, in accordance with the law, the local government strikes at all sorts of violent and terrorist activities that violate human rights, endanger public security, undermine ethnic unity, and split the country, according to the document.
Counterterrorism and de-radicalization in Xinjiang has always been conducted in accordance with the law, the white paper said.
The local government upholds the principles of protecting lawful activities, curbing illegal actions, containing extremism, resisting infiltration, and preventing and punishing crimes. The local government fully respects and safeguards civil rights including freedom of religious belief. It protects lawful religious activities, fulfills the reasonable religious demands of believers, protects the legitimate rights and interests of citizens and organizations, strikes severely at all forms of terrorism, and forbids violations of the law and crimes such as spreading extremism, inciting ethnic hatred, and dividing the country by means of religion.
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, said the white paper.
With facts as the basis and the law as the criterion, judicial organs in Xinjiang adopt a policy that strikes the right balance between compassion and severity.
While they make sure real criminals are punished, judicial organs in Xinjiang protect the defendants' right to defense and the right to use their own language in litigation to guarantee procedural justice and protect basic civil rights.
Law-based de-radicalization has been launched in Xinjiang, which has effectively curbed the breeding and spread of religious extremism, according to the white paper.
The law-based de-radicalization effort and the fight against terrorism are a just cause that has met the expectations for safety of people from all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, the white paper said. "Through such effort, we have maintained social harmony and stability," it said.