Interpretation on Criminal Cases such as those of Organizing or Exploiting Cults to Undermine The Implementation of Law

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Title: The Supreme People's Court and Supreme People's Procuratorate Interpretation on Several Issues Regarding the Applicable Law in Criminal Cases such as those of Organizing or Exploiting Cults to Undermine The Implementation of Law
Promulgating Entities:The Supreme People's Court, The Supreme People's Procuratorate
Reference number: 
Promulgation Date: 2017-1-25
Expiration date: 
Source of text: http://www.spp.gov.cn/xwfbh/wsfbt/201701/t20170125_179786_2.shtm

 

"The Supreme People's Court and Supreme People's Procuratorate Interpretation on Several Issues Regarding the Applicable Law in Criminal Cases such as those of Using Cults to Undermine The Implementation of Law"; was passed on January 4, 2017 by the 1706 session of the Adjudication Committee of the Supreme People's Court, and on December 8, 2016 by the 58th meeting of the 12th session of the prosecutor's committee of the Supreme People's Procuratorate, and is hereby promulgated, to take effect on February 1, 2017.

The Supreme People's Court, The Supreme People's Procuratorate

January 25, 2017

 

The following interpretation on several issues regarding the applicable law in cases of using or exploiting cults to undermine the implementation of law is made on the basis of the relevant provisions of the "People's Republic of China Criminal Law" and the People's Republic of China Criminal Procedure Law" for the purpose of punishing such crimes:

Article 1: Unlawful organizations established falsely in the name of a religion, Qigong, or other things, that deify or aggrandize their ringleaders, and use methods such as the production and dissemination of superstitious fallacies to beguile and deceive others, developing and controlling members, and endangering society, shall be designated as "cult organizations" as used in article 300 of the Criminal Law.

Article 2: In any of the following situations, those organizing or exploiting cults to undermine the implementation of State laws or administrative regulations, shall be given between three and seven years imprisonment and a concurrent fine, in accordance with the first paragraph of Criminal Law article 300:

(1) Establishing a cult, or after a cult has been shut down, restoring it, or establishing a separate cult;

(2) Assembling to surround, attack, forcibly occupy, or cause a commotion at State organs, enterprises, public institutions, or in public venues or religious activity sites; disrupting social order;

(3) illegally holding assemblies, protests, or demonstrations, disrupting social order;

(4) using violence, coercion or other means to compel others to join or to prevent others from leaving the cult;

(5) organizing, instigating, or deceiving members or others into not performing legally prescribed obligations;

(6) the use of 'fake hotspots', 'pirate radio' or other wireless platforms (stations) or wireless frequencies to promote cults;

(7) Engaging in cult activities again, after having been previously criminally prosecuted, or having been given an administrative punishment in the last two years, for cult activities;

(8) Recruiting 50 or more cult members;

(9) Amassing assets or causing economic harms in the amount of 1,000,000 RMB or more.

(10) Using currency as a medium to promote cults, where the volume is 500 or more bills (items);

(11) producing or transmitting cult propaganda, reaching any of the following measurement standards:

1. 1,000 or more copies (pages) of fliers, spray paintings, images, slogans, or newspapers;

2. 250 or more books or journals;

3. 250 or more audio tapes, video tapes or other A/V materials;

4. 250 or more logos or emblems;

5. 100 or more Discs, USB drives, memory cards, portable hard drives, and other mobile storage media;

6. 50 or more banners or streamers.

(12) Exploiting communications information networks in any one of the following situations:

1. Produced or transmitted 200 or more digital images or articles; 50 or more digital books, periodicals, or A/V items; or a digital archive of 5,000,000 or more characters, or 250 minutes or more of A/V materials.

2. Distributed information or made phone calls 1,000 times or more.

3. Exploiting online chatrooms reaching 1,000 or more people cumulatively, or exploiting communications groups or social media such as Weixin or Microblogs accounts with 1,000 or more cumulative group members or followers; to promote cults;

4. Where cult information has actually been clicked or viewed 5,000 or more times;

(13) Other situations of serious circumstances.

Article 3: In any of the following situations, those organizing or exploiting cults to undermine the implementation of State laws or administrative regulations, shall be found to be "especially serious circumstances" as used in the first paragraph of Criminal Law article 300, and given 7 or more years imprisonment or indeterminate detention, and given a concurrent fine or confiscation of assets:

(1) Carrying out the acts provided for in items (1)-(7) of article 2 of this Interpretation, where the threat to society is especially serious;

(2) Carrying out the acts provided for in items (8)-(12) of article 2 of this Interpretation, where the volumes reached are 5 times or more those provided for in article 2;

(3) other situations where the circumstances are especially serious.

Article 4: In any of the following situations, organizing or exploiting cults to undermine the implementation of State laws or administrative regulations, shall be found to have "more minor circumstances" as provided for in the first paragraph of Criminal Law article 300, and be given up to three years imprisonment, short-term detention, controlled release, or deprivation of political rights, and/or a concurrent fine:

(1) Carrying out the acts provided for in items (1)-(7) of article 2 of this Interpretation, where the threat to society is more minor;

(2) Carrying out the acts provided for in items (8)-(12) of article 2 of this Interpretation, where the volumes reached are 1/5 or more than those provided for in article 2;

(3) Other situations of more minor circumstances.

Article 5: Where, for the purpose of their transmission, cult propaganda pieces in numbers reaching the standards provided in article 2, item (4) of this Interpretation are possessed or carried, or are seized on the spot in the process of being transmitted; it is to be handled in accordance with the following distinct situations:

(1) Where the propaganda was produced by the perpetrator, it is handled as a completed crime;

(2) Where the propaganda was not produced by the perpetrator, it is handled as criminal preparations;

(3) Where propaganda not produced by the perpetrator is seized in the course of transmission, it is handled as an inchoate crime [attempt];

(4) Where the propaganda was not produced by the perpetrator, and a portion was already transmitted, it is handled as a completed crime, and the untransmitted portion may be considered at sentencing, based on the circumstances.

Article 6: Where several instances of producing or transmitting cult propaganda, or using communications information networks to promote cults, have not yet been handled, the quantities or amounts are calculated cumulatively.

Where producing or transmitting cult propaganda, or using communications information networks to promote cults, involves different types or forms, they may be calculated cumulatively after converted according to the ratios of different volume amounts provided in this interpretation.

Article 7: Organizing or exploiting cults to create or spread supersticious falacies, and deceiving members or others to refuse food, abuse themselves, and so forth, or deceiving the ill to not accept regular therapy, that causes serious injury or death, shall be found to be organizing or exploiting cults and "deceiving others and causing serious injury or death" as provided for in the second paragraph of Criminal Law article 300.

Organizing or exploiting cults to deceive others causing the death of 1 or more persons, or serious injury of 3 or more persons, is to be given between three and seven years imprisonment and a concurrent fine.

In any of the following situations, those organizing or exploiting cults to deceive others are to be given 7 or more years imprisonment or indeterminate detention, and given a concurrent fine or confiscation of assets:

(1) causing the death of 3 or more persons;

(2) causing serious injuries to 9 or more persons;

(3) other situations where the circumstances are especially serious.

Organizing or exploiting cults to deceive others and causing serious injuries, is to be given up to three years imprisonment, short-term detention, controlled release, or deprivation of political rights, and/or a concurrent fine.

Article 8: In any of the following situations, perpetrating the conduct in articles 2-5 of this Interpretation is to be given a heavy punishment:

(1) Colluded with foreign institutions, organizations, or personnel to engage in cult activities;

(2) Established cult institutions, developed membership, or organized cult activities across provinces, autonomous regions, or directly governed municipalities;

(3) Assembling to cause trouble and openly conducting cult activities in important public venues, supervisory areas, on major State holidays or during major events;

(4) Continuing to assemble to cause trouble and openly conducting cult activities after a cult has been shut down or been designated as a cult;

(5) State employees engaged in cult activites;

(6) Promoting cults to minors;

(7) Promoting cults in schools or other educational and training institutions.

Article 9: Where the organization or exploitation of cults to undermine the implementation of State laws or administrative regulations, meets the requirements of article 4 of this Interpretation, but the perpetrator can truly repent and clearly demonstrate that they have left the cult and will not again engage in cult activities, may be not-prosecuted or have punishment waived. Of these, where the perpetrator was deceived or coerced into participating in the cult, it may be handled other than as a crime.

Where those organizing or exploiting cults to undermine the implementation of State laws or administrative regulations , can truly repent and clearly demonstrate that they have left the cult before the first-instance trial judgement, and will not again engage in cult activities; it is to be handled according to the following discrete situations:

(1) Where the circumstances of article 2 of this Interpretation are met, it may be determined to be 'more minor circumstances' as provided for in the first paragraph of Criminal Law article 300;

(2) Where the circumstances of article 3 of this Interpretation are met, it may be determined that it is not 'especially serious circumstances' as provided for in the first paragraph of Criminal Law article 300; and given between three and seven years imprisonment and a concurrent fine.

Article 10: Where in the course of organizing or exploiting cults to undermine the implementation of State laws or administrative regulations, one also has criminal conduct such as inciting separatism or the subversion of state power, or insulting or defaming others, follow the provisions for concurrent punishment of multiple crimes in giving punishment.

Article 11: Organizing or exploiting cults, and creating or spreading superstitious fallacies, to organize, plan, instigate, coerce, incite, or assist others in committing suicide or harming themselves, it is to be convicted and punished as the crimes of intentional murder or intentional harm in accordance with articles 232 and 234 of the Criminal Law.

Article 12: Where members of cults endanger public safety by self-immolation, self-detonation, or other dangerous means, they are to be convicted and punished for such crimes as arson, causing explosions, or endangering public safety by dangerous means in accordance with articles 110 and 115 of the Criminal Law.

Article 13: Where, clearly knowing that others are organizing or exploiting cults to commit crimes, one provides them with money, space, technology, tools or food and lodging, transportation and other facilitating conditions or assistance, it is to be treated as a joint crime.

Article 14: In accordance with Criminal Law article 56, deprivation of political rights may be attached to criminal elements who commit the crimes of organizing or exploiting cults to undermine the implementation of law, organizing or exploiting cults and causing serious harm or death to others, or seriously undermining social order.

Article 15: Where it is difficult to determine whether items involved with a case are cult propaganda, public security organs at the municipal level or higher may be commissioned to make a determination opinion.

Article 16: This Interpretation takes effect on February 1, 2017. The "Supreme People's Court and Supreme People's Procuratorate Interpretation on Several Issues Regarding the Specific Application of Law in Criminal Cases of Organizing or Exploiting Cults to Commit Crimes" (Legal Interpretation [1999] No. 18), the "Supreme People's Court and Supreme People's Procuratorate Interpretation on Several Issues Regarding the Specific Application of Law in Criminal Cases of Organizing or Exploiting Cults to Commit Crimes II" (Legal Interpretation [2001] No. 19), and the "Supreme People's Court and Supreme People's Procuratorate Explanation on Several Issues Regarding the Specific Application of Law in Criminal Cases of Organizing or Exploiting Cults to Commit Crimes" (Legal Release [2002] No. 7) are abolished simultaneously.

 

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