[Report: "200,000 Military Police Conduct Carpet Search for Terrorist Suspects To Prevent Terrorist Strikes During the 1 October Period"]
Aug 27, 2008 - Our centre learned that, to prevent terrorist strikes from developing into another upsurge during the time when the nation marks the October 1 National Day, Xinjiang is currently mobilizing 200,000 officers and men of the public security force, the Armed Police Force and militia force to undertake a carpet search among the transient population. Some areas have even reinstated feudal society's 10-household mutually insured system - a system under which people of 10 families were liable to punishment when one person in the families was found to have committed an offence. Meanwhile, Xinjiang's "Antiterrorist Special Reconnaissance Force" is expanding its size through an urgent recruitment campaign. The force, which has 2,000 people now, will soon become a force with 3,000 people.
Our centre also learned that the dragnet-type screening of people suspected to be terrorists - a 23 August-20 September campaign the Xinjiang Law Enforcement Commission mapped out on 18 August - will be extended to 1 October and beyond. This is because more and more information shows that the "East Turkestan [Liberation Organization]" may create another wave of terrorist strikes around 1 October. The 200,000 officers and men of Xinjiang's public security force, Armed Police Force and militia force are now checking and registering the floating population and "key elements subject to control" in all mobile lodges, rental apartments and remote villages. The region has also set up additional checkpoints at important road sections between townships and between villages. The "10-household mutually insured system" is being implemented in Kashi [AKA Kashgar or Keshen] and Hotan prefectures. In other words, if one person is found guilty, he will implicate members of 10 families. Those family members will be penalized in many respects, including their job opportunity and their children's education opportunity. In Urumqi, each apartment building has a "building chief" charged with the responsibility of strictly controlling outsiders from moving into the building.
Meanwhile, Xinjiang's "Antiterrorist Special Reconnaissance Force" is urgently expanding its size. Aside from having a technical investigative detachment that owns the most advanced technological equipment, the special Armed Police Force that operates as a force under Section 16 of the Xinjiang Public Security Department, also has detachments in Urumqi, Kashi, Hotan, Ili and Aksu prefectures. Owing to the job's high risks, this 2,000-man special Armed Police Force always has problems recruiting new people. During its current enlarged recruitment campaign, the force has promised new recruits with higher pay and subsidies and special arrangements for them when they retire.
One of the tremendous changes that the Beijing Olympics have brought to the Chinese people's psyche is the fear of "terrorist bombings." During the Olympic period, most of the bus passengers, after they boarded onto a bus, would invariably look carefully around. If somebody has left a satchel or handbag on a bus or at an eatery, somebody would immediately inform the police to send a bomb expert to handle the situation. It is expected that bus passengers will do the same during the 1 October period. China will mark what it calls the 50th national founding anniversary on 1 October next year. It is for certain that there will be numerous security personnel on Beijing buses.
Source: Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, Hong Kong, in Chinese 27 Aug 08