Chinese police say they`ll pay terror informants

Police in China`s restive far west will pay between USD 1,500 to USD 15,000 for tip-offs about terrorist activity.

Last Updated: Aug 27, 2010, 18:44 PM IST

Beijing: Police in China`s restive far
west will pay between USD 1,500 to USD 15,000 for tip-offs
about terrorist activity and may give lighter sentences or
amnesty for suspects who turn themselves in, a public security
spokeswoman said on Friday.

The campaign, announced on the official Xinjiang
government website, promises payments between 10,000 and
100,000 yuan for information about serious violent crime and
terrorism. Suspects who surrender may be exempted from
punishment or receive lighter sentencing in return for their
cooperation.

Xinjiang has been beset by ethnic conflict and a
sometimes violent separatist movement by Uighurs (pronounced
WEE-gurs), a largely Muslim ethnic group that sees Xinjiang as
its homeland.

Police launched a sweeping crackdown on terrorist
activity after deadly riots in the regional capital of Urumqi
last year. Uighurs attacked Hans - China`s largest ethnic
group - overturning buses and cars and torching shops in the
regional capital of Urumqi in a riot the government says
killed 197 people. In the aftermath, hundreds were arrested
and about two dozen sentenced to death. Many other Uighurs
remain unaccounted for and are believed to be in custody.

Rights groups say the crackdown has also targeted
critics of the Chinese government and its policies in the
region.

A spokeswoman for the information office of the
Xinjiang Public Security Bureau said today that the reward
campaign, which was launched online Thursday, was aimed at
mobilising ordinary people to help fight terror and crime.

"We have offered similar awards before to people who
provided clues in some police campaigns such as gun control,"
said the woman who would only give her surname, Li.

PTI