Judicial organs issue guidelines on criminal behavior amid coronavirus battle

China's Supreme People's Procuratorate, the People's Court, the People's Procuratorate, public security, and judicial administrative organs issued a joint statement on Monday announcing it would punish criminal activities that hindered prevention and control efforts aimed at novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP) in accordance to the law, media reported on Monday.

Illegal activities include intentionally transmitting virus-infected pneumonia pathogens, considered an act of endangering public safety, and confirmed patients infected with NCP, who refuse to be quarantined or leave quarantine without permission and enter public settings or use public transport would also be punished, according to the report.

Those who intentionally transmit the NCP shall be charged with obstructing prevention and control efforts amid the battle against the respiratory disease.

Some provinces have already reported criminal violations that involve people who have intentionally hidden their travel history and have skipped self-quarantine.

In Shuangyashan, located in Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, a hotel was fined 200 yuan ($28.63) last week after it remained open when local disease prevention and control authorities ordered it to close. On Saturday, city police detained a resident surnamed Ma for refusing to wear a facemask and rejecting inspection prevention treatment.

Anyone who threatens or hinders public organ personnel conducting prevention and control work will be convicted and punished for obstructing official duties. Also, those who attack and injure medical staff will be punished.

Top judiciary and public security authorities noted that counterfeit products, inflated prices, spreading fake news and rumors about NCP, especially if they endanger the country's sovereignty and socialist system would be punished for secessionist behavior or inciting subversion of state power. Top judicial authorities also vowed to punish those who engage in misconduct and embezzlement amid prevention and control efforts. Officials who abuse power or neglect duties that lead to significant losses will be punished for abusing power or negligent behavior.

Also, those who commit crimes against wildlife resources shall be punished, the statement said.

(Source: Global Times)