Inside China’s brutal execution system with mobile injection vans & firing squads after killing most in the world

  • Jamie Micklethwaite

CHINA has been branded the world’s worst executioner as the state kills thousands of people every year using firing squads, lethal injections and mobile death vans.

The true numbers of those killed by the Communist Party are thought to be staggeringly high – but the regime keeps them closely concealed as state secrets.

A woman, convicted of murder, shouts as she hears the verdict before being taken to be executed in China
A woman, convicted of murder, shouts as she hears the verdict before being taken to be executed in China
The public sentencing of 55 people in a stadium - with some of them carted off to be killed
The public sentencing of 55 people in a stadium – with some of them carted off to be killedCredit: Reuters
Chinese criminals are lined up preparing to be sentenced - with 11 of them given the death penalty
Chinese criminals are lined up preparing to be sentenced – with 11 of them given the death penaltyCredit: AFP – Getty
Pictures allegedly showing Chinese officials loading a man into the back of an 'execution van'
Pictures allegedly showing Chinese officials loading a man into the back of an ‘execution van’Credit: YouTube

Human rights experts told The Sun Online about the vile system which has come into spotlight again after the killing of Chinese tycoon Lai Xiaomin.

He was executed last month on corruption charges – as in China even white collar crimes and drugs charges can land on death row.

And should you land yourself in the dock be wary, as Chinese prosecutors have a conviction rate of around 99 per cent as they doom thousands to execution.

Firing squads and lethal injections are two favourite methods of execution used by China.

Killer jabs were legalised by the regime in the 90s and are sometimes administered in one of the state’s mobile “execution vans”.

Convicts are said to loaded into van and strapped to a table where they administered the lethal injection.

Organs are then believed harvested from executed prisoners without any permission for use in medicine and scientific experiments.

Amnesty International has named China as the world’s worst executor by a large margin – with its body count believed to be larger than the rest of the world’s combine total of 657.

While other nations had total figures, China’s shadowy death penalty system left the human rights group only able to offer a grim estimate of “thousands”.

Amnesty’s China researcher Kai Ong told The Sun Online how China often holds mass rallies to announce people being sentenced to death in medieval-style public trials.

Ms Ong said: “The Chinese government still sees the use of the death penalty as an effective deterrent to crimes.  

“Each June, local governments often hold mass sentencing rallies, in which students, teachers and the public are invited to witness the court handing down death penalty to individuals convicted of drug-related crimes.” 

Pictures show a firing squad allegedly executing Chinese knife attacker Zhao Zewei
Pictures show a firing squad allegedly executing Chinese knife attacker Zhao Zewei
Pictures allegedly showing a man with a placard hanging round his neck due to be killed in a public execution in China
Pictures allegedly showing a man with a placard hanging round his neck due to be killed in a public execution in ChinaCredit: YouTube

Firing squad executions were meant to have been discontinued in 2010, but there are many examples that this practice continues. 

For example, Zhao Zewei was gunned down after stabbing nine school children to death

Lethal injections have taken over as the main form of execution in the People’s Republic due to its cheaper cost and more secretive nature. 

Mobile deaths vans meanwhile allow the execution of prisoners without having to transport them to a jail.

These vehicles were introduced in 2003 and although there have been reports that they are no longer used, Amnesty has said this is not the case. 

With secrecy surrounding the Chinese death vans, victims are not often named due to the speed in which they are tried and executed. 

One of the only victims named as an example was Mafia kingpin Liu Yong, who was given a lethal injection after being tried for wilfully causing harm to others, despite claims his confession was extracted under torture.

Ms Ong told The Sun Online although the Chinese government claims that less people are being executed – this is likely no the case.

Police officers practice executing supposed prisoners with a shot to the head
Police officers practice executing supposed prisoners with a shot to the headCredit: AP:Associated Press
Chinese police show of a group of convicts at a sentencing rally in Wenzhou
Chinese police show of a group of convicts at a sentencing rally in WenzhouCredit: AFP
Lai Xiaomin has been executed by the Chinese regime
Lai Xiaomin has been executed by the Chinese regime

What happened to Lai Xiaomin?

LAI Xiaomin has become the latest high profile execution in China.

The 58-year-old former Chinese state asset manager was killed for soliciting $300million in bribes from between 2008 to 2018.

He was also accused of starting a secret family while married to his “loyal wife” – allegations which made it onto his execution charge sheet.

Lai was convicted for bigamy and corruption.

Death sentences for white collar crime are part and parcel of the Chinese justice system.

The banker confessed of state television as he reportedly stockpiled luxury cars and gold bars through his role at China’s state banking regulator.

Beijing is taking an increasingly tough stance on corporate wrongdoing as the Communist Party endorsed the use of the death penalty for Lai.

“The amount of bribes received by Lai Xiaomin was extremely large, the crime’s circumstances were particularly serious and the social impact was particularly severe,” China’s Supreme People’s Court said.

It did not say how Lai was executed, but said he was allowed to meet with close relatives before his death.

The expert added: “Although the Chinese government follows the policy of killing fewer, killing cautiously, it also sees the use of the death penalty as an effective deterrent to serious crimes, especially drug-related crimes. 

“The Chinese authorities continue to impose death sentences and carry out executions for a wide range of offences, including drug-related offences, that do not meet the threshold of the ‘most serious crimes’, to which the death penalty must be restricted under international human rights law. 

“It is unlikely that the number of new death sentences and executions will go down significantly in the near future.” 

And the lack lack of public outcry on the death penalty in China may not even be due to state secrecy. 

Prof William Schabas, author of Amnesty’s death penalty report, told The Sun Online how members of the public in China simply aren’t that bothered by it, and are even in support of it. 

He told us: “Public opinion is still quite positive about the death penalty. 

“If you do a survey you’ll find there’s a significant majority of people who are in favour of the death penalty.” 

Canadian citizen Robert Lloyd Schellenberg was sentenced to death in an case that received international condemnation
Canadian citizen Robert Lloyd Schellenberg was sentenced to death in an case that received international condemnationCredit: Reuters
Naw Kham was a drug lord killed by lethal injection
Naw Kham was a drug lord killed by lethal injectionCredit: Rex Features
Ma Jinguo was executed after he alleged murdered two people at a coronavirus checkpoint
Ma Jinguo was executed after he alleged murdered two people at a coronavirus checkpointCredit: YouTube
Zhao Zewei was executed for killing nine school children
Zhao Zewei was executed for killing nine school childrenCredit: Yulin Court

Xiaomin, a delegate on the People’s Congress, is far from the first high profile Chinese official to have been executed in China in recent times. 

Former Communist Party chief of a Chinese Village Cai Dongjia was executed in 2019, after being branded the “Chinese godfather of crystal meth”. 

Chinese politician and senior lawmaker Duan Yihe was executed after killing his mistress in a car bomb and embezzling around £400,000. 

Canada is fighting against his execution as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused the Communist Party of “arbitrary” use of the death penalty. https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.442.0_en.html#goog_208694345China used Covid crisis to steal DNA and other private health data from 80% of Americans, warns former spy chief

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