China: The death penalty: unprecedented rise in death sentences and executions since September 1993

According to reports, some 570 people were sentenced to death in September 1993, of whom at least 373 have been executed. This is an unprecedented number of death sentences to be passed in one month. AI’s records for the past few years suggest that numbers of death sentences and executions rise not only during anti-crime campaigns but also on key dates and anniversaries. One factor accounting for the high number of death sentences in September was the launch of an anti-corruption drive in the latter half of August 1993. Dozens of officials have reportedly been shot for crimes such as bribe-taking to extortion and embezzlement.

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