Newsbrief: Drug War, Chinese Style 8/28/03

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Chinese authorities in the southern city of Guangzhou collectively sentenced 26 felons to death on August 9 as part of the government's four-year-old "strike hard" program against crime. Those sentenced in the mass hearing in Guanghzhou were mostly convicted of "drug trafficking and other heinous crimes," the Chinese news agency Xinhua reported.

The collective death sentence was handed out in Guanghzhou municipal court as some 150 armed police and security guards on hand to maintain order, Xinhua reported. The sentencing came as part of an effort to clear a back-log of cases awaiting verdicts and sentencing.

The Chinese government does not reveal execution statistics, but according to a book titled "Disdai" and written anonymously by a purported high government official, China has executed 15,000 people a year since the "strike hard" campaign began in 1999. According to Amnesty International, at least 150 people were executed in China for drug offenses in June alone, marking the UN's "International Anti-Drugs Day" on June 26, and at least 5,900 death sentences were pronounced and more than 3,500 executions carried out in 2001 and 2002, with the actual numbers believed to be much higher.

The government announced last month that the "strike hard" campaign would continue for at least another year.

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Issue #300, 8/28/03 Editorial: One Less Prisoner in America | Cheryl Miller Memorial Project Coming to Washington, DC This September 22-23 | David Borden's Open Letter to DC's Chief Judge on Refusing to Appear for Jury Service | August is Drug Reform Lobbying Month at Home! | DRCNet/ Buttons and Stickers for Free or Cheap | Perry Fund Accepting Applications for 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 School Years, Providing Scholarships for Students Losing Aid Because of Drug Convictions | Newsbrief: Kentucky's Galbraith Enters Attorney General Contest, Downplays Marijuana | Newsbrief: Supreme Court Justice Says Prison Terms "Too Long," Calls for End to Mandatory Minimums | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cops Story | Newsbrief: Drug War, Chinese Style | Newsbrief: Colorado Appeals Court Upholds Fake Drug Checkpoints | Newsbrief: Fake Drug Checkpoints Cause Uproar in Indiana | Newsbrief: Feds Seize Hemp Promotional Vehicle at US-Canada Border | The Reformer's Calendar

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