Wednesday, 12 August 2009

China: Businesswoman shot after unfair trial

Amnesty International has issued this update to its appeal on behalf of Du Yimin, a businesswoman who was executed last week after being convicted of "fraudulent raising of public funds".


Du Yimin, a businesswoman convicted of "fraudulent raising of public funds" was executed on 5 August after China's Supreme People's Court (SPC) approved her sentence.

Du Yimin was sentenced to death in March 2008. Her appeal was rejected on 13 January 2009. According to the verdict, she had illegally raised approximately 700 million yuan (US$102 million) from hundreds of people investing in her beauty parlours. According to the Chinese press, she had obtained the money between 2003 and 2006 by offering investors monthly returns of up to 10%.

Her lawyer has stated that Du Yimin should have been convicted for the lesser offence of "illegally collecting public deposits," which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years' imprisonment and a fine of 500,000 yuan (US$73,000). Du Yimin claimed that she had had no intention of keeping the money, but had intended to invest it in her companies, and that she had obtained it without using fraudulent means.

Du Yimin’s death sentence has caused a debate about the consistency in the application of the death penalty in the People's Republic of China. The day before she was sentenced to death, an official who used 15.8 billion yuan of public funds to cover his personal spending was sentenced to a fixed term of imprisonment.

Amnesty international believes Du Yimin did not receive a fair trial in line with international standards and condemns her execution.

Further information on UA: 42/09 Index: ASA 17/007/2009
People's Republic of China
Date: 07 August 2009

Amnesty International's original appeal, from 13 February 2009, is here.

Related stories:
DP improvements not for economic crimes: China -- 10 March 2009
China: Death over milk, but no official answers -- 29 January 2009
China: Executions to preserve order, control -- 12 December 2008
Judge backs harsh sentences: China -- 20 April 2008
Party claims economic penalty 'prudent' -- 4 August, 2007

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