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China: Death penalty: 14 people sentenced to death in the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, Guandong Province, including: Zhang Xiaojian, Qiang Chuqia, Qiu Dexi, Chen Zixie, Liu Gaowen, Chen Qiang, Chen Jingde, Fu Limin (f), Wen Yana (f), Xie Xiuyun (f), Ch

, رقم الوثيقة: ASA 17/088/1995

On 26 October the Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court sentenced the above to death after a three day trial. The 14 are alleged to have been members of a gang charged with a series of murders. The defendants have between three and 10 days to appeal to another court. Successful appeals are extremely rare.

EXTERNAL AI Index: ASA 17/88/95
EXTRA 129/95 Death penalty 31 October 1995
PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA14 people sentenced to death in the Shenzhen Special
Economic Zone, Guangdong Province, including:
Zhang Xiaojian
Qiang Chuqia
Qiu Dexi
Chen Zixie
Liu Gaowen
Chen Qiang
Chen Jingde
Fu Limin (f)
Wen Yana (f)
Xie Xiuyun (f)
Chen Xinxiang
On 26 October 1995, after a three-day trial, the Shenzhen Intermediate People's
Court sentenced nine men and five women to death.
The 14 are alleged to have been members of a gang of 16, all of whom were charged
in connection with a series of murders between April 1993 and June 1994.
Reportedly, the women would lure drivers out of luxury cars and into a barber's
shop where they were murdered. One of the defendants, Zhang Xiaojian, who
was reportedly the ring-leader of the gang, was charged with 12 counts of murder
and robbery. Two of the 16, Liu Yuxiang and Qiu Minhui were sentenced to prison
terms of 20 years and three years respectively.
Under Chinese law, the defendants have between three and 10 days after the
passing of sentence to appeal to another court. It is not known exactly how
many of the 16 will appeal. If no appeal is lodged, their sentences will be
automatically referred for review to the Guangdong Province High People's Court.
This court must then rule on the appeal or review the case within one and
a half months. This process can be accelerated and review of death sentences
can take place within a few days of the trial. Successful appeals are extremely
rare.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The death penalty is used extensively in China. In 1994, Amnesty International
recorded 2,496 death sentences and 1,791 executions, although it believes these
figures to be well below the actual number of death sentences and executions
carried out. The increased use of the death penalty in China since the late
1980s occurs in the context of continuing "anti-crime" campaigns.
Amnesty International is concerned that death sentences in China are meted
out following trials which fall far short of international standards for
fairness. Defendants do not always have access to lawyers. In death penalty
cases, lawyers, when available, usually have no more than one or two days to
prepare a defence. Death sentences are often decided in advance of the trial
by "adjudication committees" whose decision is seldom challenged by the courts.
Chinese legal experts have in recent years criticized the practice of pre-trial
verdicts, but it is reported to be still widespread.
Amnesty International is also concerned that the use of the death penalty in
China appears to be discriminatory; it tends to apply disproportionately to
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people of low social standing who have neither the social nor the political
status which enables others to defend themselves against the accusations.
Furthermore, cases have been reported in which death sentences were imposed
on the basis of confessions extracted through coercion or torture.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/airmail letters in English,
Chinese or your own language:
- expressing opposition to the death penalty in all cases as the ultimate form
of cruel and inhuman punishment and as a violation of the right to life as
guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
- urging that the death sentences passed on the 14 men and women be commuted
(please cite as many names as possible).
APPEALS TO:
Governor of the Guangdong Provincial People's Government
ZHU Senlin Shengzhang
Guangdongsheng Renmin Zhengfu
305 Dongfeng Zhong Lu
Guangzhoushi 510031
Guangdongsheng
People's Republic of China
Telexes: 44563 OFAGDCN
Telegrams: Governor, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China
Salutation: Dear Governor
President of the Guangdong Provincial High People's Court
MAI Chongkai Yuanzhang
Guangdongsheng Gaoji Renmin Fayuan
26 Cangbian Lu
Guangzhoushi 510090
Guangdongsheng
People's Republic of China
Telegrams: President, Provincial High People's Court, Guangzhou, Guangdong
Province, China
Salutation: Dear President
President of the Supreme People's Court of the People's Republic of China
REN Jianxin Yuanzhang
Zuigao Renmin Fayuan
27 Dongjiao Min Xiang
Beijingshi 100726
People's Republic of China
Telegrams: President, Supreme People's Court, Beijing, China
Salutation: Dear President
COPIES TO:
Chief Editor GAO Di, People's Daily
GAO Di Zong Bianji
Renmin Ribao
Jintaixilu 2
Chaoyangmenwai
Beijingshi 100733
People's Republic of China
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and to diplomatic representatives of the People's Republic of China accredited
to your country
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 30 November 1995.

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