Tuesday, November 12, 2002


Death From Around the Globe
Dateline: China

Amnesty: China Executed 46 People Ahead of Congress

BEIJING (Reuters) - China executed 46 people in just two days last week following calls to intensify the fight against crime ahead of a pivotal Communist Party Congress, Amnesty International said Wednesday.

Twenty-nine people were executed in the southwest city of Chongqing and on southern island of Hainan last Wednesday while 17 were executed in the town of Pingdingshan (Bless you!) in the central province of Henan two days later, Amnesty said in statement.

No immediate comment was available from Chinese officials. The executions followed recent calls by the authorities to intensify a national "Strike Hard" anti-crime campaign that began in April 2001.

Amnesty appealed to the Chinese government to end the death penalty in the world's most populous country, where it said 2,468 people were executed last year.

China has executed more people than the rest of the world combined in recent years, mostly with a bullet to the back of the head, human rights groups say.

State media have reported plans to spread the use of lethal injection to execute people as a "civilized way of law enforcement."