Xinjiang tightens inspection

By Xuyang Jingjing Source:Global Times Published: 2012-6-20 1:30:05

Authorities have reportedly started house-to-house inspections in southern-most Hotan city in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region after an illegal Koran teaching center holding 54 children was raided earlier this month.

A staff member at the Gujiangbage neighborhood committee confirmed the campaign to the Global Times Tuesday, saying the police and neighborhood committees have launched a joint inspection after the incident.

"We mainly inspect the residents living in rented houses," said the anonymous employee. "We are mainly concerned about illegal activities such as Koran teaching."

He also added that residents in their community were being cooperative.

On June 6, local police in Hotan raided a Koran teaching site in a residential building after receiving tips from concerned parents. The suspects ignited explosives that started a fire, injuring 12 children and three policemen.

The next day, the Gujiangbage sub-district administrative committee issued a notice announcing that they would inspect all houses in the neighborhood as instructed by related higher departments, according to a notice posted online.

"If there are people home who refuse to open the door, or refuse to cooperate with the inspection, we will force our way in," reads the notice.

An officer from the Hotan city police bureau refused to comment when reached by the Global Times Tuesday.

"People have different understandings of what they read online," said the officer.

"Police would never enter residents' home by force without proper reason, nor would they use arbitrary violence," Hou Hanmin, head of the regional information office of Xinjiang, told the Global Times.

She added that the police forced their way in during the last raid only because the suspects refused to open the door.

"It's not just religious scripts that are taught in such camps; some also teach extremism and violence," explained Hou.

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