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Judicial Explanations on Crimes by Cults


(October 30, 1999) China declared on October 30, 199 the launch of detailed judicial explanations on laws regarding crimes committed by cults.

China's top judicial and procuratorial organs, the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate, also declared that the explanations take effect as of October 30.

Under the explanations jointly issued by the two departments, "cult groups" in Article 300 in the Criminal Law refers to those illegal groups that have been found using religions, Qigong or other things as a camouflage, deifying their leading members, recruiting and controling their members and deceiving people by molding and spreading superstitious ideas, and endangering the society.

Section 1 of Article 300 in the Criminal Law stipulates that "those who organize superstitious sects and secret societies or use superstition to violate laws or administrative regulations" are subject to three to seven years imprisonment, and those whose cases are extremely serious are subject to seven years imprisonment or more".

Under Section 2 and 3 of the article, those who set up or use superstitious sects and secret societies or superstition to deceive people and cause death of others are subject to the penalties as indicated in the previous section.

Under the two sections, those who organize and use superstitious sects, secret societies or superstitions to sexually exploit women or swindle money or property should be punished according to articles on rape and swindle in the Criminal Law.

Under the explanations, those who organize and use sects and commit one of the following activities should be penalized according to Section 1, Article 300 in the criminal law:

I. gathering people together to besiege and charge government organs, enterprises or institutions, and disrupt their work, production and teaching and research activities;

II. holding illegal assembly, demonstrations to incite or deceive, or organize their members or others to besiege, charge, seize, disrupt public places or places for religious activities, or disrupt social order;

III. resisting departments concerned to ban their groups, or resuming the banned groups, or establishing other sects, or continuing their activities;

IV. instigating, deceiving or organizing their members or others to refuse fulfilling their legal obligations, and the case is serious;

V. publishing, printing, duplicating or distributing publications spreading malicious fallacies, and printing symbols of their sects; and

VI. other activities that violate the state law or administrative regulations.

According to the explanations, a case is regarded as "serious" if it involves any of the following while conducting the activities in the previous article:

I. setting up organizations or recruiting members across provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities that are under direct administration of the central government;

II. collaborating with overseas groups, organizations and individuals for sect-related activities; III. publishing, printing, duplicating and distributing, either in terms of volumes or sales values, a large amount of publications spreading fallacious ideas and printing symbols of sects; and IV. instigating, deceiving or organizing their members or others to violate state laws, administrative regulations, and resulting in serious consequences.

Under the explanations, setting up or using superstitious sects, secret societies or superstition to deceive people and cause death of others in Section 2 and 3 of Article 300, refers to the cases of establishing or using sects to mold, spread superstition or fallacies, deceiving their members or others to practice fast, inflict wounds upon themselves, or prevent patients from taking normal medical treatment and resulting in deaths.

The explanations says it will be a "serious offense" if the following occurs:

I. causing three deaths or more; II. causing fewer than three deaths but serious injuries for many people; III. those who have received criminal or administrative penalties for engaging in cult activities continue to establish or use sects to deceive people and result in deaths; and VI. causing other special serious consequences.

Under the explanations, those who establish or use sects to mold, spread superstition and fallacies, instigate and coerce their members or others to commit suicide or inflict wounds on themselves, should be punished according to laws on intended murder or intended harming offenses under causes in the criminal law.

Those who organize and use superstitious sects and sexually exploit women or young girls by seducing, coercing, deceiving or other ways should be punished according to clauses on rape, or raping underage girl offenses, under the criminal law, the explanations stipulates.

Those who swindle money or property by establishing or using sects or other means should be punished according to articles on swindle offenses in the criminal law.

Offenses of establishing or using sects to organize, scheme, carry out and instigate activities of splitting China, endangering the reunification of China or subverting the country's socialist system should be handled according to relevant laws on endangering state safety offenses, as stipulated in the criminal law.

All the money and property collected by sects or criminal offenders who use sects to violate laws, and tools and publicity materials used for criminal activities, should be confiscated according to law, it says.

Those who organize, plot or use sects for criminal activities and those enthusiastic participants who refuse to mend their ways despite repeated admonition should be investigated and affixed the criminal offense responsibility according to the criminal law and this explanations, it says.

But those who surrender themselves to law enforcement departments, or who perform meritorious services, should be given lenient penalty or exempted from penalty according to law, it says.

Those who were deceived or coerced into sects and had already withdrawn from the sect will not be considered as offenders, the explanations says.


Tel: (202) 328-2500 Fax: (202) 588-0032
Email: chinaembassy_us@fmprc.gov.cn

 


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