BEIJING — Four foreign men have been executed in China for the murder of 13 Chinese fishermen on the Mekong river in 2011, after being paraded on state TV.
The men were put to death by lethal injection in Kunming, Yunnan province.
CCTV News broadcast live footage of the men being taken from their cells to the execution site, though it did not show the moment of death.
Many social media users in China have reacted angrily, condemning the broadcast as insensitive.
It is believed to be the first time in China’s recent history that live footage of condemned criminals being taken to their execution has been broadcast.
Since CCTV is controlled by the Chinese authorities, there is no doubt that the green light was given by top government officials.
It seems that the Chinese government wants to send out a clear signal to the general public that they are taking very tough action against foreign criminals, observers said.
Some have applauded the move, but many Chinese Internet users spoke out against the special programme, in what some are saying was a throw-back to the execution rallies of China’s past.
Among the prisoners was Naw Kham, a Burmese man thought to have been one of the most powerful warlords in the Golden Triangle of Thailand, Laos and Burma.
China’s state television channel CCTV aired an interview with Naw Kham on Thursday.
“I couldn’t sleep properly over last two days. I miss my mother. It is really painful that I can’t be with my children,” Naw Kham told the channel.
“My mum didn’t know when I was arrested, and I am worrying that she won’t be able to take it when she finds out,” he went on. (BBC)