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Friday, 20 October, 2000, 14:38 GMT 15:38 UK
China to execute bride traffickers

Four men who kidnapped and raped poor rural women in China before selling them as brides have been sentenced to death, reports say.

Rural scene, China
Kidnap gangs prey on women and children in rural areas
The women were abducted from south-west China and sold in the prosperous eastern province of Jiangsu over a six-year period, according to Xinhua news agency.

Two other members of the gang received suspended death sentences, and the other 12 were jailed for between six and 20 years.

Earlier this year the Chinese authorities launched a campaign to crack down on trafficking of women and children which is rampant in rural areas.

Crackdown

Reports said the kidnap gang had teamed up with locals in Yunnan and Guizhou province to abduct the women between 1992 and 1998.

The women were then sold in the city of Suqian in Jiangsu for 1500-4000 yuan ($180-$480), Xinhua said.

It did not say how many women the gang had kidnapped.

Chinese media reported last month that 110,000 women and 13,000 children had been freed since the crackdown on trafficking began in April.

Abducted women are sold as brides or into prostitution, while children are mostly sold to childless couples.

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See also:

01 Jun 00 | Asia-Pacific
China executes child abusers
10 May 00 | Asia-Pacific
China cracks down on kidnapping
01 Apr 00 | Asia-Pacific
China targets kidnappers
16 Jan 00 | Asia-Pacific
Chinese police seize kidnap gang
07 Jan 99 | Asia-Pacific
Chinese men face life as bachelors
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