• Wed
  • Nov 19, 2014
  • Updated: 11:02pm

Naw Kham executed over murder of Chinese sailors; TV broadcast blasted

Murderers of 13 Chinese sailors are killed by lethal injection, but live broadcast is criticised

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 02 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 02 March, 2013, 4:53am

Four men were executed by lethal injection on the mainland yesterday for the murder of 13 Chinese sailors, with their final moments as they headed to the death chamber broadcast live on state television.

The men - one Myanmese, one Thai, one Lao and one stateless - carried out the killings on the Mekong River in 2011.

China Central Television (CCTV) announced early yesterday it would broadcast live throughout the executions.

It showed the men being taken from their cells to vehicles at the entrance of the detention centre, but did not carry footage from inside the death chamber in its two-hour live show.

Former Myanmese drug lord Naw Kham and three accomplices were executed in Kunming , capital of Yunnan province. Their appeals were rejected last month.

CCTV showed Naw Kham taken from his cell by two armed police officers and led through a pack of reporters at 2.01pm.

Warders guarded him and prepared him for the execution site. They lashed his arms tight to his sides and placed shackles on his feet. He had a relaxed, neutral expression on his face and hardly seemed to notice what was happening.

He even smiled when a warder read the announcement confirming his execution.

Condemned prisoners were commonly paraded in public before being taken to an open execution ground to be shot by firing squads on the mainland 30 years ago.

But executions are now generally open only to a few select witnesses. Yesterday is believed to be the first time in recent years that live footage of condemned criminals being taken to their execution has been broadcast.

Prominent rights lawyer Liu Xiaoyuan said CCTV's live coverage was both unethical and against the spirit of the law.

"Using two hours to broadcast live the process for these criminals facing the death penalty is in effect a kind of parading [the condemned]," Liu wrote on his microblog.

Nicholas Bequelin, senior researcher at Human Rights Watch, called the live broadcast "an affront to human dignity" and said retribution was not a principle of criminal law. "There is no reason to turn an execution into this grotesque show and it actually detracts from the effective dispensation of justice ... no matter what they have done, they are not animals in a zoo," he said.

But some internet users approved of the execution show.

"It saved its toughest words for China, warning against any illegal activity that might infringe on waters around the country," read one post on the Sina Weibo microblogging service.

The gang was arrested last year in a joint operation by police from China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand, CCTV reported.

It added that the gang colluded with Thai soldiers in the attack on two cargo ships, the Hua Ping and Yu Xing 8.

In November, they were found guilty of intentional homicide, drug trafficking, kidnapping and hijacking.

Two other members of the gang were also convicted, with one receiving a suspended death sentence and the other being jailed for eight years.

Additional reporting by Verna Yu



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This article is now closed to comments

what has confucius got to do with this? ppl get executed in Texas 'Kentucky' style.. r they brain washed too? come on.. u ignorant white trash!!!!!
Killing people (even those who kill) is wrong. Until that message finally gets through there will continue to be people who kill and states that practice execution in the name of trying to prevent murder. It is wrong-headed on the part of those states and demeans human dignity.
secretive system definitely needs to be exposed. one reason we need Julian Assange, Wikileak, Bradley Manning.
Oops! Assange is having extended stay at some embassy in London. Manning will go to jail for very long time if not for life.
The first sentence of your comment is nothing but a meaningless hypothetical.
The second sentence is contradictory to the first: If it's truly "secretive", why would the system allow the release of the footage on TV?
As to the verdict, it's certainly truer than, say, the OJ Simpson or Casey Anthony ones. Is the US justice system "dubious" too?
Have you asked yourself "What if one of the 13 victims was a member of my family?"
"But some internet users approved of the execution show", that is because these bunch are close minded confucius brain washed bunch of red neck!!!
Blatantly racist.
Why is it "unethical and against the spirit of the Law" as 'lawyer' Liu Xiaoyuan asserts by parading these criminals on TV. In which law book can Liu show us that it is against the spirit of the law?
As for that human rights watch reserarcher who claim it is an affront to human dignity, why don't you tell this to the families of the gang's murdered victims. What happened to the Human Rights of the victims? Perhaps your research do not include the innocent!
Of course it is unethical and against the spirit of the law.
They have been found guilty. They have been sentenced to death. But they still have rights, including the right to dignity.
Putting this on television diminishes the value of the justice that the victims deserve. It is a political statement that has nothing to do with justice.
This report is biased. Footage of convicts "being taken to execution" is a far cry from the scene of execution itself. If you run an opinion poll, I am not sure the large majority will disallow this kind of footage, given the bloody ruthless execution of 13 sailors who caused them no harm.
This kind of exposure serves a purpose and deserves some (even if with reservation) respect. Just like I may not agree with the ancient practice of inscribing demeaning names on convicts' forehead, I respect the logic behind and the choice of our ancestors.
I think US drone attacks are even more outrageous than video showing convicts being transported to execution sites.
An obscene spectacle reminiscent of Stain era show trials which would not have been staged if the victims were not Chinese or if the criminals were Chinese.
Another disturbing question is, given the secretive character and dubious quality of the Chinese justice system, how can one be sure the trial was fair and the court's verdict a true one?

Possible this was the brainchild of the prior administration which was not known for its thoughtfulness...


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