Needle Panics

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Jail terms imposed on Uighurs for syringe attacks
www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2009 ... 24_pf.html

CLIFFORD COONAN in Beijing

Mon, Sep 14, 2009

SENTENCES OF between seven and 15 years in prison have been imposed on three Uighurs for a series of syringe attacks that caused widespread panic and civil unrest in western China’s restive Xinjiang region.

Tens of thousands of Han Chinese took to the streets earlier this month to protest that the government was not doing enough to protect their safety.

More than 500 people in Urumqi have reported being attacked, although state media said only about 100 showed evidence of being pricked with needles.

The assaults have ratcheted up tensions in Urumqi almost two months after riots in July left dead and highlighted rifts between the Uighurs, a mostly Muslim, Turkic-speaking ethnic group that is the largest in Xinjiang at 45 per cent of the population, and the Han Chinese, the majority group in China that holds nearly all the important positions of power in Xinjiang.

None of the reported victims of the needle attacks has suffered from illness, poisoning or other any after-effect. Officials and state media have blamed the rioting and attacks on separatists trying to destroy ethnic unity.

In one of Of the sentences handed down, Yilipan Yilihamu (19) was jailed for 15 years for what the Xinhua news agency reported was “attacking with hyped toxic substances”, after he injected a hypodermic needle into a woman’s buttock at a roadside fruit stall on August 28th.

In a separate trial in the same court, Muhutaerjiang Turdi (34) and Aimannisha Guli (22) were given 10 and seven years respectively for robbing a taxi driver with a syringe on August 29th.

Many Uighurs say they are the victims of decades of Chinese oppression and unwanted immigration of millions of ethnic Han. However, the Chinese say they are bringing prosperity and stability to the resources-rich province.

Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, hundreds of journalists, parliamentarians and residents marched to protest the alleged police beatings of three reporters covering recent unrest in Xinjiang, and demanded a government investigation.
 
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China needle attacks 'not toxic'
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8254278.stm

Protesters and police in central Urumqi - 3 September 2009
Thousands protested in Urumqi over the needle attacks

No dangerous chemicals have found in blood samples from the victims of recent needle attacks in China's Xinjiang region, state media have said.

Rumours had been rife that the needles contained radioactive substances, poison or even HIV.

Blood samples from 250 reported victims were examined in a Beijing lab, said state-run Xinhua news agency.

The syringe attacks began in August, a month after riots between ethnic Uighur and Han Chinese left about 200 dead.

Three people have received jail sentences over the needle attacks.

The wave of attacks has raised tension in the region, amid long-standing animosity between the Uighur and Han communities.

Security fears

A total of 531 people reported being attacked with hypodermic needles, with 171 showing "obvious syringe marks", according to Xinjiang officials.

The head of disease control at China's Academy of Military Medical Sciences said no traces of radioactive substances, toxic chemicals, HIV or other poisonous or viral substances were found in the samples they checked, Xinhua reported.

Thousands of angry residents of Urumqi, Xinjiang's capital, protested earlier this month, demanding better security over the needle attacks and swifter legal action after July's riots.

At least five people were killed in unrest around these latest protests.

The Chinese government has been struggling to restore calm in Xinjiang since the July riots, the worst ethnic unrest in the country for decades.

A number of people have been arrested and charged over the violence, but no one has been tried yet.

Three Uighurs were sentenced on Saturday to jail terms ranging from seven to 15 years for syringe stabbings or threats to use needles in robberies.
 
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Needle panic in Birmingham, with picture of suspect.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/u...hypodermic-needles-in-birmingham-8942575.html

Agonising wait for women after series of attacks with hypodermic needles in Birmingham

Image of suspect

Police have released an image of the suspect after a 30-year-old woman was stabbed in the thigh in Broad Street, central Birmingham

The Independent. Rob Williams. 15 November 2013


Detectives in Birmingham have told of the "agonising wait" faced by young women stabbed with hypodermic needles in a series of attacks in the city.

Police have released an image of a suspect after a 30-year-old woman was stabbed in the thigh in Broad Street, central Birmingham, at 03:00 GMT on 3 November.

Detectives believe the attack could be linked to two similar incidents in the same area of the city earlier this year, but have said the motive was "unclear."

In the latest incident a woman was stabbed in the thigh and reported feeling a sharp pain, which was later confirmed to be a puncture wound.

On June 23 a 20-year-old woman was stabbed twice in the thigh and buttock while on a night-out and on October 6 a similar attack took place on a 28-year-old woman. Police said they had received five similiar reports in total over the last year-and-a-half.

Detective Inspector Julie Woods said: "Although the women have not been left with any obvious physical injuries they have had to endure an agonising wait to check that they have not suffered any long-lasting health effects.

"Due to the nature of the offences, victims have not realised they have been injured until hours or days later, which has resulted in limited lines of inquiry.

"But we now have a particularly clear image of a man we want to identify in connection with the attacks and I would appeal for him, or anyone who knows who he may be, to come forward."

"These are strange offences and the motive at this stage is unclear, which is why it's so important for us to identify the person in this CCTV image as soon as possible."

Birmingham Police said they had increased patrols in the Broad Street area and the wider city and urged anyone who notices anything unusual to contact police.

Superintendent Danny Long said: "We have increased the number of officers on patrol in Broad Street and around the city centre, particularly since the attack earlier this month, and are working closely with street wardens, street pastors, licensees, door staff and clubbers themselves to keep people safe."

"Birmingham remains one of the safest cities in the UK in which to enjoy a night out but if anyone sees any suspicious activity, I would encourage them to report it to police immediately."

Anyone who recognises the suspect can call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Edit: Three needle panic threads merged. P_M
 

Peripart

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It's funny, isn't it? I read about stuff like this on Snopes or the FTMB, and it all seems faintly ludicrous. Then, it gets reported in the city where I live and I start to believe that there may be something in it. More from the mean streets of Birmingham on the BBC website this week:
Birmingham needle attacks: Police examine six more cases

Police investigating five needle attacks on women in Birmingham have had reports of six further incidents which could be linked to the same suspect.

Officers said the six fresh reports date back six months.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-25013559
 

Yithian

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Reminds me of the poisoned candy myths - but given that there seems to be no doubt that this is happening, clearly a case of ostension. (Although I have no doubt that the issue will be exacerbated by drama addicts and chancers looking for compo.)

Incidentally did anyone ever explain how you get a razor blade all the way inside an apple without cutting your fingers off? I think not.
 
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More on the Australian strawberries.

An Australian woman accused of contaminating strawberries with needles allegedly did so out of spite.

Australian police arrested My Ut Trinh, 50, a supervisor at a strawberry farm in Caboolture, Queensland, on Sunday. She appeared before Brisbane Magistrates Court on Monday and was charged with seven counts of contamination of goods. Trinh could face a maximum of 10 years behind bars, if found guilty. Magistrate Christine Roy told the court that Trinh was “motivated by some spite or revenge,” the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported. “She has embarked on a course over several months of putting a metal object into fruit,” Roy said.

Although Trinh will remain in custody until her next hearing on Nov. 22, the police investigation into the incident is far from over.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entr...cid=newsltushpmgnews__TheMorningEmail__111218
 
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