Rare Video Appears To Show A Public Execution In China

China doesn’t say how many people it executes every year, but groups like Amnesty International estimate that the number may be in the thousands.

Even high profile cases, like that of Zeng Chengjie, a businessman in China’s Hunan province who has been described as “China’s Madoff,” are usually conducted covertly. Sometimes the family isn’t even informed.

That secrecy is probably why a new video that appears to show a public execution is so controversial. The video was uploaded to Sina yesterday and has been viewed over 2,200,000 times at the time of writing.

We’ve included some images from the video below but not the video itself. You can see it on Sina, but be warned that you may find it upsetting.

In the video a crowd stands on a hillside watching sirens below:

A group of what appears to be policemen take a man wearing a placard out of a car:

The man is made to kneel. It appears his picture is taken. He is then shot in the back of the head. It appears that his body is photographed again.

Little is known about the video. The uploader says it was filmed in November 2012, and the WSJ’s China Real Time blog says that the people in the village appear to speak a dialect found in Guizhou province. The crowd do not seem shocked or upset by what they see.

Josh Chin at the WSJ writes that the video is prompting a debate about whether China should keep the death penalty or not.

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