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Illegal assembly banned in Urumqi

The Public Security Bureau of Urumqi yesterday published a notice to ban illegal assembly, marches and demonstrations in the capital city of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

Police said in the notice the situation was basically under control after the June 5 riot which left 184 people dead and more than 1,000 others injured. However, there were still sporadic illegal assemblies and demonstrations in some places.

The police said they issued the notice in order to maintain public order and ensure the security of lives and property.

"Assemblies, marches and demonstrations on public roads and at public places in the open air are not allowed without permission by police," the notice read.

Police will disperse such illegal assemblies according to the law and are entitled to take necessary means if the crowd refuse to disperse. They will take people who resist police orders away from the scene, or detain them at the scene, said the notice.

It also prohibits people from taking weapons and explosives to assemblies and demonstrations, or disrupting and sabotaging legal assemblies and marches with violence.

Nearly a week after the riot bruised Urumqi and sent residents fleeing its major streets, it was a relief to see people gradually return to normal life.

The first weekend after the riot seemed peaceful in Urumqi, with residents strolling in downtown parks with their families, banks reopening after a five-day business suspension and business owners looking to the future. Some people began holding funeral rites for the dead, while soldiers in riot gear stood guard nearby.

At a makeshift funeral parlor along an alley, friends paid respects at an altar displaying photos of the dead: a couple and her parents, all beaten to death in the riot.

Authorities in Xinjiang said yesterday both tourism and air transport had been hurt by the riot.

Inamu Nisteen, chief of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regional Department of Tourism, told a news briefing that because of the riot, 1,450 tour groups had cancelled plans to visit Xinjiang.

They involved 84,940 travelers, including 4,396 tourists from overseas. However, 54 tour groups, with 1,221 visitors, including 373 travelers from overseas, were still traveling in Xinjiang, Inamu Nisteen said.

Guan Wuping, head of the Xinjiang Branch of the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China, said the unrest seriously harmed civilian air transport in Xinjiang.

"Air travel has dropped significantly after the Urumqi riot," said Guan, giving no further details.


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