Convicts paraded on television ahead of execution

China’s state TV captures the moments before four men who murdered 13 fishermen are put to death

Beijing

Four men were paraded in ropes and chains on Chinese state television today before being taken away and executed for the murder of 13 Chinese fishermen on the Mekong river two years ago.

The broadcast sparked outrage on China’s social networking sites, with many condemning the footage as an affront that rekindled memories of the execution rallies that used to held in China in Communist times. The broadcaster, CCTV, later announced the men’s execution on Twitter.

One of the men, Naw Kham, was a powerful Burmese drug lord known as “The Godfather” who operated in the Golden Triangle of Thailand, Laos and Burma. The others executed by lethal injection were Hsang Kham from Thailand, Yi Lai, who was stateless, and Zha Xika from Laos, the Xinhua news agency reported.

The men were put to death in Kunming, Yunnan province, and CCTV News showed live footage of the men being taken to the execution site, although it stopped short of showing the actual executions. This is the first time in many years that such footage has been shown on Chinese TV.

“I couldn’t sleep properly over the last two days. I miss my mother. It is really painful that I can’t be with my children,” Mr Kham told CCTV. “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.”

Mr Kham and his gang planned and colluded with Thai soldiers in an attack on two Chinese flat-bottomed cargo ships, the Hua Ping and Yu Xing 8, in October 2011 on the upper reaches of the Mekong. Thirteen Chinese sailors died in the attack.

The murder was one of the deadliest assaults on Chinese nationals overseas in modern times and Beijing sent gunboat patrols to the region.

The Mekong provides a vital trade and transportation route between south-western China and South-east Asia, for both legitimate and illegal goods. That stretch of the river is home to many gangs who oversee the production and distribution of heroin and methamphetamine.

Beijing had considered using a drone strike to kill Mr Kham, but instead he was captured in Laos and brought to China in May to stand trial. “Given the current situation, since the downfall of Naw Kham’s gang, the security of Mekong waters has been fine,” Wu Ruzhen, liaison officer to Burma from China’s Ministry of Public Security, told Xinhua.

The ships were later recovered downriver by Thai police following a dramatic shootout with gangsters. Some of the 13 victims had been tied up before being shot or stabbed. The gang members later told the court that the men had been killed because the ship’s owners had refused to pay protection money, and the vessels were used by Thai and Laotian soldiers to attack local drug bases.

Another two members of the gang, identified as Zha Bo and Zha Tuobo, received a death sentence with reprieve and eight years in prison, respectively.

Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
News
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, left, with her daughter, Bristol
newsShe's 'proud' of eldest daughter, who 'punched host in the face'
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
news
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
News
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Life and Style
Sexual health charities have campaigned for the kits to be regulated
healthAmerican woman who did tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
The John Peel Lecture has previously been given by Pete Townshend of The Who, Billy Bragg and Charlotte Church
musicGodfather of punk will speak on 'free music in a capitalist society'
News
peopleAt least it's for a worthwhile cause
News
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
tech
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Pharmaceutical Computer System Validation Specialist

£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pharmaceutical Computer ...

High Level Teaching Assistant (HTLA)

£70 - £90 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Higher Level Teaching Assist...

Teaching Assistant

£50 - £80 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Randstad Education is the UK...

Senior Java Developer - API's / Webservices - XML, XSLT

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently ...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments