Chinese prosecutors urged to toughen crackdown on epidemic-related crimes

China's Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) has asked procuratorates nationwide to fully play their role to create a favorable judicial environment in the fight against the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Procuratorates across the country are required to severely punish those found guilty of dereliction of duty, including withholding information, in strict accordance with the law on the prevention and control of infectious diseases and the criminal law, according to a circular issued by the SPP.

The crackdown on criminal activities including pushing up prices, profiteering and severely disturbing market order during the period of outbreak control should be intensified, the circular said, adding that the production and sale of fake and shoddy protective equipment and medicines should be harshly punished.

It stressed strong actions against patients infected with the novel coronavirus who intentionally spread the virus or refuse any examination or compulsory isolation and treatment thus leading to serious consequences. It urged procuratorates to strengthen the crackdown on violence against medical personnel amid the virus outbreak to ensure the safety of medical workers at the frontline.

Crimes including fabricating coronavirus-related information that may lead to panic among the public, making up and spreading rumors about the virus, sabotaging the implementation of the law and endangering public security will be strictly cracked down upon to ensure the epidemic prevention and control work is conducted in an orderly way, the circular said.

It also stressed harshly punishing illegal hunting of wildlife under state protection, as well as improving inspection and quarantine measures for fresh food and meat products.

(Source: Xinhua)