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China marks anti-drug day with executions: state media

by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) June 24, 2010
Eight people were executed as China prepared to mark a global anti-drug day, state press said Thursday.

The executions, for trafficking and manufacturing substances including ketamine, heroin and methamphetamine, took place in the southern China on Tuesday and Wednesday, Xinhua news agency reported.

June 26 marks the UN's International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, a date when China has traditionally executed and sentenced convicted drug traffickers to illustrate its resolve in fighting the scourge.

Among those executed were three men, identified as Zhang Jinxuan, Li Weiliang, Dong Yunshi, who were convicted of trafficking and transporting drugs and sentenced to death in June last year, Xinhua said.

Two other men executed Thursday, Lu Jianjun, Shi Zhongping, were convicted in 2008 of manufacturing and selling heroin while Li Dezhong was handed the death penalty in August last year for selling 25,000 grams of ketamine.

In southwest China's Chongqing municipality, two dealers were executed Tuesday for cross-border smuggling and dealing 12 kilograms of heroin and two kilograms of methamphetamine, the report said.

Drug use was virtually eliminated after the Communist rise to power in 1949, but the problem has returned since the country began opening up to the world again three decades ago.

The number of criminal drug cases rose to 77,000 last year, up 26 percent from 2008, according to official figures.

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