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Beijing Review Exclusive
Special> Focus on Xinjiang> Beijing Review Exclusive
UPDATED: August 17, 2009 NO. 33 AUGUST 20, 2009
Back to Normal
Xinjiang officials speed up the investigation of July 5 riot suspects and restore social order


COLORFUL CULTURE: A traditional Uygur dance performance opens the August 8 inauguration of a tourism promotion campaign 

Life in Urumqi has gone back to normal one month after the July 5 riot that killed nearly 200 people in the capital city of China's northwestern autonomous region. Tourists have flooded into Xinjiang to take advantage of discounted tickets and services for scenic destinations, which is part of a promotional campaign to offset the unrest's impact. Xinjiang's tourism authorities said on August 10 that the total number of tourists had reached 40 percent as compared with the corresponding period last year and estimated a full recovery by September.

Traffic has gone back to normal, except in a small part of the hardest-hit areas in the city, where controls remain in place eight hours a day.

The Ninth China Xinjiang International Agricultural Fair, which opened in Urumqi on August 12, attracted 110,000 business people from around the world.

Representatives from 987 companies in 15 countries and regions arrived to attend the three-day event, making it the largest fair yet in terms of visitors and scope, the organizers said.

Meanwhile, the local judiciary began accelerating the investigation into suspected lawbreakers during the riot.

Kurban Khayum, a World Uygur Congress (WUC) intelligence agent, was arrested for allegedly spreading rumors by exaggerating the death toll involving Uygurs during a June brawl at a factory in Shaoguan, in south China's Guangdong Province.

A Xinhua report on August 5 said Khayum was instructed by the WUC to gather information on the fight between Han people and Uygurs in Shaoguan on June 26, which left two people dead and more than 100 injured.

The article said that without going to Shaoguan, Khayum fabricated a report and sent it to the WUC, saying "the factory brawl caused the deaths of 17 to 18 people, including three females." The WUC later spread the false information on the Internet that fooled many people in Xinjiang to fan ethnic resentment.

As of August 4, a total of 83 people had been arrested for being implicated in the July 5 riot. They will face charges including murder, intentional injury, arson and robbery.

Prosecutors are preparing for the trials of the first batch of suspects and are also accelerating work to arrest and prosecute suspects, said Utiku'er Abudrehman, Chief Procurator of the Urumqi People's Procuratorate. He also stressed that prosecutors would strictly adhere to legal procedures, from criminal detention and approving arrests to public prosecution and the first trials.

At the same briefing, Urumqi police chief Chen Zhuangwei said 718 people had been detained on suspicion of taking part in the riot.

The Higher People's Court of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region selected in July dozens of judicial personnel across the region for the trials. Zhang Yahao, Deputy Director of the Criminal Division's No.1 Courtroom of the Urumqi Intermediate Court, told Xinhua that several panels have already been set up in preparation for the trials. A detailed plan laying out court security during the trials and the escort of suspects has also been formulated.


 PAPERLESS TICKETS: To help tourists, the Administrative Committee of Tianchi Lake, a famous scenic spot in Xinjiang, works with a local bank to allow people to buy tickets online


HIGH-LEVEL VISIT: A delegation of diplomats from 26 countries and international organizations tours a hi-tech industrial park in Urumqi during a five-day trip to Xinjiang 


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