(RTTNews) - China has put to death at least nine people for drug-related crimes in the eastern province of Anhui, Chinese state media reported on Tuesday.
The hangings took place on Thursday after the Communist nation's highest seat of judiciary, the Supreme People's Court, cleared the executions.
According to a statement posted on the website of the official China Court News, the convicts were among the several people found guilty of manufacturing and trafficking of drugs including heroin and methamphetamines.
The convicts hanged last week also included Han Qingfeng and Li Peishen convicted of trafficking about 10.5 kilograms of heroin as well as Chen Dengkui, 55, who reportedly headed a gang which manufactured and sold massive quantities of methamphetamines.
Also, 14 others who were awarded the death penalty for peddling drugs had their sentences suspended. Under Chinese laws suspended death sentences could be commuted to life terms after two years based on the prisoner's conduct.
Although executions are regarded as a state secret in China, with few if any statistics available, state media do report prominent cases. Despite Beijing's claims, it often carry out summary executions with the trials mostly held behind closed doors.
A report by the San Francisco-based rights group, Dui Hua Foundation, says China has put to death around 5000 people on an average annually over the last couple of years. The number of people thus executed is more than the total number of executions carried out in other parts of the world.
Earlier in 2007 the Chinese government passed a law making it mandatory for the Supreme People's Court to review all death sentences before they are carried out.
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