Residents asking for timely court hearings over syringe attacks

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Residents of Xinjiang's capital are calling for the quick court hearings of syringe attackers and adequate government actions to restore a safe living environment.

The consensus of public opinion is that government should start court hearings of the attackers as soon as possible and take concrete measures to protect people's safety, officials in more than 110 of the city's residential communities have been told.

The government has vowed severe punishments, including life sentences or death penalties, for attackers if their needle stabbings had grave consequences.

"We want to see the attackers sentenced. That will help the government to regain public trust," an official of a survey team working in the Tianshan District quoted many residents as saying.

The official, who declined to be named, said more than 7,600 members of the Communist Party of China and local officials have been trying to conciliate members of the public infuriated by ongoing hypodermic needle stabbings since mid August.

"Stability is most important. We're waiting to see criminals punished by legal means," said Hou Changwu, a retired man living in Qinghai Road.

The old man said police forces have been safeguarding the community recently, which made him feel safer.

"We can see the government has been trying to restore social order. We should trust the government and work together with it to maintain stability," said Zhang Junhua, who was waiting for a bus in the Xinshi District.

"We believe the authorities are able to handle the legal prosecutions and court hearings, and properly deal with all kinds of social conflicts to rebuild peace and safety," said Ubri, a young Uygur teacher.

(Xinhua News Agency September 9, 2009)

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