Full Text: Human Rights in Xinjiang - Development and Progress
June 02,2017 By:Xinhua
II. Civil Rights
Xinjiang fully respects and effectively guarantees the civil rights of its citizens in accordance with the law, by respecting and protecting life and property, safeguarding the right to a fair trial, and promoting free expression.
Life and property are respected and protected. Since the 1990s, violent terrorists, nationalist separatists, and religious extremists have plotted and committed a series of violent terrorist crimes, causing loss of life to and damaging the property of people of all ethnic groups. In 2009, the July 5 riot in Urumqi killed 197, injured more than 1,700, and caused colossal damage to property. The Kunming railway station terrorist attack of March 1, 2014 caused 31 deaths and injured another 141. The Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has taken a series of measures designed to strike against violent terrorist crimes, strengthen social protection and control, modernize the governance system and capacity, and safeguard the lives and property of all the people of Xinjiang, whatever their ethnic group. These measures include the promulgation and implementation of the Measures of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Enforcement of the Anti-Terrorism Law of the People's Republic of China.
The right to fair trial is maintained. Judicial organs in Xinjiang uphold the principles of legally prescribed punishment, presumption of innocence, and evidentiary adjudication, and fully protect citizens' right to fair trial at all stages from investigation to prosecution, to trial and execution. The right of suspects and criminal defendants to defense is guaranteed in accordance with the law. Citizens' right to use the spoken and written languages of their own ethnic groups in legal proceedings is protected. By implementing the Interim Measures for Legal Assistance of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the right to legal assistance for disadvantaged groups is guaranteed. With constant improvement in the judicial relief system, the legitimate rights and interests of indemnity claimants are safeguarded, and the right to relief of disadvantaged groups is protected. In 2016, people's courts at various levels in Xinjiang settled 298 state compensation and judicial relief cases, deferring, reducing or exempting the litigation costs to a value of RMB26.7 million. A platform for judicial openness was established to release information on judicial proceedings, so as to ensure the public's right to information. From 2014 to 2016, people's courts at various levels in Xinjiang released more than 210,000 effective judgment documents on China Judgments Online. In 2016, there were 4,569 lawyers in Xinjiang.
The right to freedom of expression is protected. To safeguard the public's right to free expression as prescribed by the Constitution, and to expand, diversify, and improve access to the required channels, Xinjiang has created a wide range of Internet infrastructure and websites (or platforms), while continuing to promote traditional media, such as radio, television, newspapers and magazines. As a result, the citizens' right to information, right to participation, and right of scrutiny are guaranteed. The number of netizens in Xinjiang rose from 448,000 in 2002 to 12,960,000 by the end of 2016. This growth rate ranked 3rd in China, with a rate of penetration of 54.9 percent, which ranked 1st in the western region.