• Campaigns

UA 379/90 - China: executions: Deng Fengyou and 63 others

, Index number: ASA 17/061/1990

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: ASA 17/61/90
Distr: UA/SC
UA 379/90 Executions 20 September 1990
+ 63 others
Sixty-four prisoners were executed on 18 September 1990 in Guangzhou (Canton),
a major city in southern China, according to a report that day in the Yangcheng
Evening News published in Guangzhou. The newspaper reported that those
executed had been sentenced to death by 13 different courts (presumably courts
in various districts of Guangdong province, of which Guangzhou is the capital).
They included "24 robbers, 20 thieves, 14 murderers, four weapons dealers
and two hooligans", according to a report by the news agency Reuters. The
Guangzhou newspaper cited the case of DENG Fengyou, a woman who was executed
for allegedly beating to death the son of her husband's first wife.
The newspaper reported that Guangzhou vice-mayor SHI Anhai, speaking
before an audience of 5,000 people at a mass rally organized in connection
with the executions, said that "society must create an awesome power to frighten
criminals so that they get caught up in the sea of the masses and have nowhere
to hide". Other officials have in recent months referred to the death penalty
as a "deterrent" against crime. To Amnesty International's knowledge, however,
no study has ever established that the death penalty has any special deterrent
effect compared to other forms of punishment. Moreover, there is evidence
to suggest that the death penalty in China is a discriminatory punishment which
tends to disproportionately affect people of low social standing.
These executions have taken place in the context of a continuing
campaign described as a "stern crackdown" against crime which started in May
1990. On the basis of official reports, Amnesty International has recorded
over 350 death sentences in June and July 1990 alone.
Some of the death sentences pronounced in the last few months have been
officially described as means to ensure "social order" and "stability" in China
before the start of the Asian Games, due to open in Beijing on 22 September.
Amnesty International has found in the past that death sentences are often
announced in large numbers in the period leading to the Chinese national day,
on 1 October, and other important festivals or political events.
Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases, on the
grounds that it constitutes the ultimate form of torture and ill-treatment
and that it violates the right to life. The organization has repeatedly urged
the Chinese authorities to put an end to the use of the death penalty and to
commute all death sentences. Its concern at the extensive use of the death
penalty in China is heightened by the fact that trials in China fall far short
of international standards for fairness.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters:
- expressing regret at the reports of the recent executions;
- urging that executions be halted and that all death sentences be commuted;
- urging that every prisoner accused of an offence punishable by death be
afforded all facilities, including free access to a lawyer of his or her choice,
for a fair trial before an independent, competent and impartial tribunal, and
that the rights of the accused be protected at all stages of the judicial process.
APPEALS TO Page 2, UA 379/90...
SHI Anhai Fushizhang (Guangzhou Vice-Mayor SHI Anhai)
Guangzhoushi Zhengfu
People's Republic of China
Faxes: +86 20 342016
Telexes: 44563 OFAGD CN
(please forward to SHI Anhai Fushizhang)
LIN Ruo Shuji (Guangdong Province Party Secretary LIN Ruo)
Zhonggong Guangdongsheng Weiyuanhui
People's Republic of China
Faxes: +86 20 342016
Telexes: 44563 OFAGD CN
(please forward to LIN Ruo Shuji)
XIAO Yang Jianchazhang (Provincial Chief Procurator XIAO Yang)
Guangdongsheng Renmin Jianchayuan
People's Republic of China
Faxes: +86 20 342016
Telexes: 44563 OFAGD CN
(please forward to XIAO Yang Jianchazhang)
LIU Fuzhi Jianchazhang (Procurator-General LIU Fuzhi)
Zuigao Renmin Jianchayuan
People's Republic of China
Telex: 210070 FMPRC CN or 22478 MFERT CN
(Please forward to Procurator General LIU Fuzhi)
Zong Bianji (Editor)
Renmin Ribao (People's Daily)
2 Jintai Xi Lu
Beijing 100733
Zong Bianji (Editor)
Fazhi Ribao
Huajiadiya yi hao
Beijing 100015
Zong Bianji (Editor)
Yangcheng Wanbao (Yangcheng Evening News)
Yangcheng Wanbao She
People's Republic of China
and to diplomatic representatives of the People's Republic of China in your
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 1 November 1990.

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