Thirteen men accused of selling drugs were condemned to death during a public trial held in front of 10,000 people in China.
Immediately following the trial, which occurred on June 24 in the city of Shanwei, in southern China’s Guangdong province, eight of the condemned were executed, reports The Beijing News.
You can watch the condemned escorted to their deaths in the footage from Chinese media below:
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Eighteen people were on trial in the public spectacle which was jointly conducted by Shanwei Intermediate People’s Court and the Lufeng People’s Court.
The proceedings, dubbed ‘tragic and barbaric’ were witnessed by some 10,000 people.
Five were handed down suspended sentences. The remaining thirteen were sentenced to death. Eight of the convicted men were immediately removed from the arena post trial and taken to be executed, according to local reports.
William Nee at Amnesty International condemned mass sentencing, telling MailOnline:
The mass sentencing rally that took place – including the execution of eight people involved in drug-related crimes – is absolutely tragic and barbaric.
Despite China continuously executing hundreds if not thousands of people per year for drug-related offences, China is actually experiencing a growth in drug manufacturing and trafficking – which obviously shows the limitations of the “kill the monkey to scare the chickens approach.
China should immediately end the use of the death penalty for offences that do not meet the threshold of “intentional killing” in international law, and devise other ways to tackle the drug problem that don’t perpetuate a cycle of violence.
This is not the first time the Chinese judiciary have conducted a public trial to showcase the government’s hard line on drug crimes.
In 2015, 38 drug dealers were put on trial in front of 10,000 people as part of a public event to try and stop the illegal drugs trade in the region, in a horrifying act of publicly shaming and scare-mongering the public into submission.