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Outcry as China executes vendor

AFP-JIJI

China on Wednesday executed a street food vendor who stabbed two officials following a street dispute, provoking outrage online.

The Supreme Court upheld a death sentence against Xia Junfeng, who murdered two “city management” officials after a dispute over his street stall in 2009, the Shenyang Intermediate People’s court in northeast China said in a verified social media account.

Xia had appealed his sentence on the grounds he killed the two officers in self-defense after they savagely attacked him and others in the city of Shenyang as he sold barbecued meat on the street.

His case drew widespread sympathy amid regular reports of abuses by China’s quasi-police city management officials. Known as “chengguan,” such officials “have earned a reputation for brutality and impunity. . . . They are now synonymous for many Chinese citizens with physical violence, illegal detention, and theft,” a spokeswoman for advocacy group Human Rights Watch said last year.