06/24/2010, 00.00
CHINA
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World day against drugs, China carries out eight death sentences

The sentences executed yesterday and the day before yesterday in Fujian and Chongqing. The phenomenon of drug dealing and use is increasing. 51,000 criminal cases in 2009, up 16.5% on the previous year. Severe sentences for 17,400 defendants.

Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Eight people were sentenced to death in China to commemorate the World Day against Drugs, launched by the UN and held on June 26.

The executions took place yesterday and the day before in southern China; the offenders were convicted of trafficking and production of substances, including ketamine, heroin and methamphetamines. Six death sentences were carried out in Fujian (in Putian and Quanzhou); two in Chongqin.

The International Day against drug use and trafficking was launched in 1988 by the UN. China has used this day to show its radicalism in combating the phenomenon with a number of death sentences.

Drug use, very common in the past in the country, had seemed to almost have disappeared during the period of Mao Zedong. With the resumption of contacts with the outside world and a new spread of wealth, the scourge of drugs has returned.

According to official data, the criminal drug cases in 2009 were almost 51 000, an increase of 16.5% compared to 2008. Trials have seen 56 000 convicted. Of these, 17,400 have received severe penalties: up to five years imprisonment or capital punishment, an increase of 8.8% on the previous year. China continues to justify the widespread use of capital punishment as a deterrent against crime, although the statistics prove this theory wrong.

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