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Suspects paraded through Chinese streets like Cultural Revolution

'Cultural Revolution-style epidemic prevention' seen imposed in Guangxi Province

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Suspects being paraded through Baise City street in Guangxi's Jingxi County. (Twitter screenshots)

Suspects being paraded through Baise City street in Guangxi's Jingxi County. (Twitter screenshots)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Videos surfaced on Tuesday (Dec. 28) showing four suspected smugglers being paraded through a city as they held large portraits of themselves, drawing rare criticism from within China for hearkening to the Cultural Revolution and violating Chinese laws.

On Tuesday, several videos surfaced on Twitter showing four men clad in white PPE being escorted by two police officers, also in white hazmat suits, being publicly paraded through a street in Baise City in Guangxi's Jingxi County. A long line of police can be seen flanking either side of the street, while crowds of onlookers gawk at the spectacle.

The men can be seen holding huge photos of themselves with their names and other information scrawled below. A voice can be heard broadcast over loudspeakers admonishing the public to dutifully follow epidemic prevention regulations.

In a second video, the men can be seen being marched to a public square, where they are forced to face a large mob gathered outside a supermarket. A third video of the incident shows the four men spaced far apart in the square and forced to stand perfectly still, while a fourth clip showed the men loaded in a pig truck.

Suspects paraded through Chinese streets like Cultural Revolution
Suspects being taken to public square. (Twitter screenshot)

Chinese netizens were aghast at the scene as it reminded them of the notorious "struggle sessions" imposed by the Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution. During such sessions, people accused of counterrevolutionary thinking were publicly humiliated before angry crowds until they "confessed" to their "crimes."

"Is there anything more humiliating than a parade? The Cultural Revolution is not over, it just continues."

"Mao came back to life, his name is Xi Jinping!"

"Cultural Revolution-style epidemic prevention, Guangxi Jing Xi parade through the streets, the only thing missing is the dunce caps."

According to China's state-run mouthpiece the Global Times, two Chinese men were arrested for smuggling two Vietnamese men into the country. After administering PCR tests on the men, one of the Vietnamese nationals tested positive for COVID, prompting officials to close schools in the region, place 50,000 people in quarantine, put 124 in hospital isolation wards, and test 10,000 residents.

Local Chinese media reports claimed that "through this disciplinary action, border-related illegal crimes have been effectively deterred, and public awareness of anti-smuggling laws and compliance with epidemic prevention rules has been enhanced." However, a Beijing News editorial stated that judging from the actions in the clip, "it is clear that it has gone far beyond the scope of 'discipline in accordance with the law."

The opinion piece pointed out that "even for the purpose of epidemic prevention, measures that seriously violate the spirit of ruling the country by law cannot be allowed to reappear, and relevant targeted punishments cannot be separated from the scope of the rule of law." As early as 1988, the Supreme People's Court, Supreme People's Procuratorate, Ministry of Public Security issued the "Notice on resolutely stopping the public display of convicted prisoners and unsentenced criminals in the streets."

It clearly stipulates that not only criminals who are sentenced to death are not to be marched through the streets and publicly displayed, but also other convicted prisoners and unsentenced criminals and all other offenders are not permitted to be paraded through the streets or publicly displayed.