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Chilling video of criminals being publicly paraded in China: 'Extraordinary'

Strange footage of numerous police officers parading four alleged offenders dressed in hazmat suits through the streets of a city in southern China has emerged.

Two videos taken on Tuesday (local time) show each man being escorted by two officers as others trail behind and line the streets of Jingxi city, near the Vietnam border, to hold back a growing crowd of spectators.

The four men, who local publications say are accused of smuggling people into the country, also appear to have placards with their names and photos hanging from their necks.

Stills from the video footage of the four men being marched through the city.
Videos taken on Tuesday shows four men being escorted by police officers as a growing crowd of spectators forms. Source: Twitter/@billbirtles

The footage, which was shared extensively online, has attracted criticism and trended on Chinese social media site Weibo.

"What is more terrifying than parading the street is the many comments that support this approach," one user wrote, the BBC reports.

Public shaming criminal suspects has been outlawed in China since 2010, Beijing News reports.

The state-owned publication said on Wednesday the incident “seriously violates the spirit of the rule of law and cannot be allowed to happen again”.

Officials defend shaming

ABC journalist Bill Birtles, who worked in China from 2015 to 2020, Tweeted about the incident, saying that local officials were forced to defend their actions after the “blowback”.

“Extraordinary videos circulating of suspected people smugglers being publicly paraded in southern Guangxi province — a practice evocative of times past. The full hazmat suits appear to be common these days for criminal suspects,” he said.

“Another angle that’s been circulating online — the full hazmats might also reflect concerns of covid coming across the Vietnam border — there have been about 20 local cases in Guangxi this past week (and these suspects are accused of border smuggling),” Mr Birtles said.

The Jingxi City Public Security Bureau and the Anning Township Government said the shaming was a disciplinary warning and denied it was inappropriate, local publications report.

Another video shared by the ABC journalist shows police spray painting the alleged offenders’ crimes on their homes.

China's Covid-19 cases grow

China reported 207 new confirmed coronavirus cases for Wednesday, up from 197 a day earlier, its health authority said on Thursday.

Of the new infections, 156 were locally transmitted, according to a statement by the National Health Commission, compared with 152 a day earlier.

Most of the new local cases were in the northwestern province of Shaanxi.

Authorities have locked down 13 million residents in Xi’an amid the rise in infections as they attempt to curb the spread.

China is one of the few remaining countries with a “zero Covid” policy, with authorities implementing mass-testing when infections are found in the community.

With Reuters

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