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China defends use of death penalty in political corruption cases

[JURIST] Chinese Communist Party discipline commission spokesman Gan Yisheng said Thursday that China's use of capital punishment in political and economic corruption cases is appropriate and effective. Gan justified the punishment saying that it had "been endorsed by the Chinese people and also recognized by the international community."

In July, China executed former State Food and Drug Administration commissioner Zheng Xiaoyu [JURIST report] for accepting $850,000 in bribes during his tenure as head of the agency. China is believed to have the highest execution rate in the world, and has been criticized [JURIST report] by Amnesty International [advocacy website] for not doing enough to remedy human rights abuses. Chinese state media report that the number of death sentences handed down by Chinese courts so far in 2007 is in fact lower than in previous years [JURIST report]. AFP has more.

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