BEIJING, March 14 Authorities in China's western
region of Xinjiang on Tuesday offered leniency to "separatists,
terrorists and religious extremists" who turn themselves in, the
latest in a string of recent security measures in the
China says militants have stirred up tension in Xinjiang,
where hundreds of people have been killed in recent years in
unrest between mostly Muslim ethnic Uighurs and majority Han
Officials say they face a determined campaign by separatists
who want to set up an independent state called East Turkestan.
Police, courts and prosecutors in Xinjiang's southern region
of Kashgar offered "leniency" or "exemption from punishment" in
return for full confessions to a wide range of crimes – from
planning and inciting terrorism or separatism to making
explosives, guns and ammunition.
Other violations eligible for leniency range from using
religious extremism to break marriage and family planning laws
and forcing others to wear religious extremist garb, to "buying
matches in large quantities", according to a posting on
Xinjiang's official public security WeChat messaging account.
But individual have to turn themselves in to authorities,
Those who surrender explosives, guns, ammunition, controlled
blades, and other harmful chemicals and items, "could receive
monetary compensation depending on the situation", the post
Thousands of Chinese armed police have staged mass parades
and rallies in Xinjiang in recent weeks, in what officials have
called a "declaration of war" on militants and separatist
Along with the show of force, authorities have rolled out
tough measures, from helicopter patrols to hefty rewards for
tips, and mandatory satellite tracking for some vehicles.
However, many rights groups and exiles doubt the existence
of a coherent militant group in Xinjiang and say Uighur anger at
repressive Chinese policies is more to blame for the unrest.
Late last month, Uighurs purportedly fighting with the
Islamic State in Iraq released a video threatening China and
vowing to shed Chinese blood.
(Reporting by Michael Martina; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)