10 people sentenced to death for drug crimes in southern China
They were executed immediately after the verdict was handed down at a stadium in Guangdong
Ten people were sentenced to death for drug crimes by courts in Shanwei and Lufeng in southern Guangdong on Saturday. They were executed immediately after the verdict.
Their sentences were handed down at a public trial in a stadium in the city of Lufeng, watched on by thousands of people, news website Thepaper.cn reported on Sunday.
The 10 people, who were taken away to be executed, were found guilty of crimes including producing and trafficking drugs, murder and robbery. Their names and details of the charges were not given.
Two other people were also on trial at the stadium but the report did not give details of their sentences and charges.
The 12 people were brought to the stadium in police vans with sirens blaring, the report said. They stood on the stage, with four police officers in dark glasses standing behind each of them.
Slogans promoting the nationwide campaign to stamp out drug crimes were seen on posters hung around the stadium.
Lufeng, which is administered by Shanwei, is a focus of the State Anti-Drug Committee’s war on drugs because of the high number of cases there. In 2014, more than 3,000 paramilitary personnel, police and border guards from Guangdong raided a village near Lufeng and seized three tonnes of crystal meth. Nearly 200 people from the village, which has a population of 14,000, were detained at the time.
A similar sentencing took place at the same stadium six months ago, with 18 people convicted of drug crimes. Eight of those were executed straight after the verdicts were delivered.
Ten years ago, the country’s top court – the Supreme People’s Court – began carrying out a final review of each death sentence handed down across China. While authorities say this has seen the number of executions drop, mainland China’s death penalty rate is still believed to be the highest in the world. Exact numbers are not known, but it is estimated that China executes and sentences to death more people than the rest of the world combined, according to Amnesty International, which puts the number in the thousands every year.