51 Criminal Suspects Publicly Shamed & Sentenced in Henan

A criminal suspect is paraded in public with a sign around his neck showing his name and crime.

A Henan city in China tries 51 criminal suspects in public.

On March 31st, in Xiangcheng City, Zhengkou, Henan, local officials and residents gathered together to hold a spring-time “Promotion of Crackdown and Rectification” meeting in which 51 criminal suspects were publicly brought before the court to receive judgement for their crimes.

The suspects, roped together with signs around their neck identifying them as suspects and by name, were all charged with seriously disturbing the public order. By the end of the proceedings, 10 were publicly sentenced for their crimes.

A city in Henan publicly shamed and sentenced 51 criminal suspects in a spring "crackdown," while netizens question the legality and morality of the proceedings

Comments from NetEase:

易安君主 [网易江苏省网友]:

Although they committed crimes, I still sympathize and pity them; completely without human rights! Treated just like performing monkeys!

易安君主 [网易江苏省网友]:

If they put so much energy into cracking down on corrupt officials, a strong country with rich people would just be around the corner!

hujingsong00 [网易江苏省南京市网友]:

A barefaced insult to human dignity.

sigp226 [网易天津市河西区网友]:

Criminal suspects before they receive judgement are not criminals. May the mighty police please respect human rights.


Where are the human rights?

网易河南省郑州市网友 (responding to above):

Don’t go on talking about human rights, criminals must accept severe punishment. A few people above said they [the police] are not respecting human rights, I want to ask you, do you know what human rights are? When [the criminals] murder, commit arson, rob, rape, extort, swindle, and bully ordinary people, did they consider human rights? When they kill your family, will you still say the cops aren’t respecting their human rights? What the fuck is this bullshit, even saying the police aren’t respecting human rights. It seems to me you’re all a fucking bunch of hypocritical self-righteous animals!

joey0888 [网易福建省厦门市网友] (responding to above):

Above, it seems to me you’ll die before you understand one thing. The harm of personal crimes is always small, whereas the harm in unrestrained public power is massive. When you use public power to to treat individuals (even criminals) you must first of all be lawful, because no one has the power on their own to fight against public power. Using the illegal to crack down on the illegal, is more frightening than the illegal itself. Because then no one will be safe.

足彩圣推 [网易广东省广州市番禺区网友]:

Human rights? Legal procedure?

清风泛舟 [网易广东省网友]:

Although they [the criminals] are repulsive, what you [Henan officials] are doing is far more disgusting. Criminals also have human rights, please don’t insult this bottom line.

混WY十年都不显示 [网易山东省聊城市网友]:

The public safety/justice system sure works fast!!

What do you think? Do you think public shaming works?

A city in Henan publicly shamed and sentenced 51 criminal suspects in a spring "crackdown," while netizens question the legality and morality of the proceedings

A city in Henan publicly shamed and sentenced 51 criminal suspects in a spring "crackdown," while netizens question the legality and morality of the proceedings

Source: NetEase

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Written by Joel

Joel is a reclusive writer based in Shanghai who took up blogging as a hobby one summer and never looked back. Former editor of Shanghaiist.

  • mr. wiener

    Sitting shamed on my sofa.


    This is down right primitive. What happens if one of the convicted turned out to be innocent? Will they be able to sue the state for wrongful humiliation received?

    • JAYJAY

      After a closer look, they are only suspects!! There is no proper justice system in China!!

  • Hongjian

    I support.

    Down with human rights and westernized bullshit in China!

    Suspects and criminals alike must be Ling-Chi’ed after they have seen their own families burried alive in feces, and then have their rotten corpses hanged feets up from the trees for everyone to see and fear.

    Chinese people are still residing on the same level as 5000 years before – lets just use the same punishments befitting their level of civilizatory advancement, so that pearls may not be thrown before the pigs.

    • Interested

      You have my support. What about victim’s right when people screaming about these `animal’ right?

    • Brett Hunan

      I see you are trolling again, but I just hope you don’t become one of the many innocents who are suspects (AKA convicted criminals) in China. No rights, no one to listen to you. Not like it couldn’t happen.

      • Hongjian

        Yeah, because everyone is a stupid ass who cannot look after oneself.

        If there’s anything you have to learn in China, it is to develop a survival instinct that makes you not being so autismal as fuck with every fucking random e-bike running you over due to your own absolutely fucking stupidity and self-assurement that you are entitled with any Kantian “Rights” and “Freedoms” without a whole giant artificial construct of shitty intellectual and political axioms supporting you in your pretentious feeling of self-entitlement.

        When in China, act like an animal. In a country devoid of any achievements of enlightment, you have your claws and teeth for a reason.

        • Bruce Tutty

          Well then why don’t you look after yourself financially?…oh yes, you get paid by the west for your goods.

          If you want to do business with the civilised world, you will need to learn how to treat people better, and appear to have a long way to go.

          • Bruce Tutty

            In the rest of the world, animals are controlled or destroyed.

          • Hongjian

            As if the ‘civilized world’ is any more civilized…
            China and the West’s difference is just, that China treats their own people like shit, while the western world is treating others like shit.

            Wealth and power only comes from exploitation, not from thin air, or even from ‘own hard work’. Working does not create wealth – the exploitation of other people’s work does.
            China exploits their own people and beats them up if they stand up, while the West is exploiting people in other countries and invade them if they stand up to them. But in the end, it is still exploitation, it is still the same shit.

            Western self-righteousness is the most hypocritical shit ever. Your world is clean, since you have just dumped (actually, even sold) your whole garbage and shit you have inevitably produced over the course of your civilizatory development onto others, before you turn around and criticize those you have shat on being obviously dirty.

            tl;dr You are a faggot.

  • BadEnglish

    Even the common Chinese don’t have dignity,let alone criminals.PM Wen,shame on you!

  • lonetrey

    I feel like… I wouldn’t care, if I was in that situation.

    Taking in to account of what else they could possibly do to me, I think a simple moving about is much better than any other underhanded tactics they could be using. But then again, I’ve never been one to care about such things.

    However, I disapprove of the police doing this. Simply because they should be the better men, they should be above this.

    The actual punishment is nothing to me, but it’s the principles behind it that make me disappointed in their law enforcement.

    • the psychology of police officers, soldiers and construction workers is actually the same. chinese should not confuse them with bureaucrats

  • Dogbert

    Criminals do not care about shame. Public beheadings would be more effective.

    • Bruce Tutty

      glad to hear you are volunteering.

  • Tired seeing public executions.
    Makes me sick.

    • Jim M.

      Umm… it’s a shaming, not an execution.

  • Jim M.

    The article text (right near the top) says Hunan.

    It’s definitely Henan.

  • Brett Hunan

    I just don’t think that public shaming will make anyone think twice before they commit a crime.

    I mean, if its the worst of the punishment they get for minor charges like stealing food or protecting their home from destruction, I’m down with that. But for real criminals this has exactly zero effect.

    • terroir

      Bread Human,

      dude: this is shame. This is the worst thing that can possibly happen to a Chinese. It doesn’t matter if they are guilty or innocent – this public shaming has ruined their faces and reputations forever. Even if the masses are placated by Super Girl Happy Harmony Hour or whatever and none of their family or neighbors see this, these people themselves will know this, and they will fear leaving the house from then on (well, if they go free).

      This is the mentality from an era about two/three hundred years ago (minus the beheadings that is), and the biggest proof (one of, anyways) of China’s backwardness is that this still works.

      • Brett Hunan

        Right, I get all that.

        I still think it applies to lesser crimes and lesser criminals.

        I don’t think someone contemplating murder, for example, would be put off the idea by public shaming, no matter the era. However, you probably know more than me on this so this one time, I will concede in the name of saving face.

        Mr. 面包人 (빵사람씨)

        • terroir

          Dear Gingerbread Man (are you a redhead?)

          In the name of betterment for flour- and carbon-based life forms everywhere, let’s participate in our very our concession armistace where we mutually exchange “concedes“ in the name of inter-bakery peace.

          Yes. We are both right. This shaming is the worst possible thing to happen to a Chinese (well, next to being put in prison and paying for a bullet), but you’re right, this in a way doesn’t deter people.

          In Chinese shame-based society, people will do anything and everything they can get away with – unless they’re caught. And: no one ever thinks that it will be them. As the legal system/guanxi is a huge morass of immorality, justice is never actually blind or fair.

          As for murdering people, well, besides first-degree murders the rest always seem to be someone who started something, panicked, then killed the victim because they were afraid of getting into trouble. So, no: no deterrent there.

          After all this pontificating with you, I feel like a glass of milk.

      • 安健


        I disagree with you. Public shamings/executions have never done much to curtail crime. Yes, maybe it makes some people who don’t really want to/have much motivation for committing some crime stop, but I think that is a minority of potential criminals. By far, the number one thing to predict if someone is going to commit a crime is if they are in some kind of economic situation where crime may solve problem in the short term, thus making one’s economic situation the biggest factor in determining if they are likely to commit a crime or not.

        Basically, you gotta do what you gotta do to survive.

    • Interested

      Have effect on me for sure. I would never cross Chinese legal system.
      Might not have effect on you since you are………….

      • Brett Hunan

        Since I am…….. white? foreign? western? a capitalist pig? educated? or is it because I cannot associate or empathize with the Chinese? Maybe the biggest reason is because I don’t live in China anymore.

        杀鸡给猴看 or 杀鸡儆猴, is made perfectly clear by terroir in the above post.

  • notorious


  • Nyancat

    anyone having trouble accessing websites in china today? the error that comes up is that the connection has been interrupted, i think it has something to do with this http://www.zdnet.com/blog/security/anonymous-hacks-hundreds-of-chinese-government-sites/11303 and for those who cant access that link http://www.valuewalk.com/2012/04/anonymous-hack-chinese-government-sites/

  • Zebadee

    Quote: “were all charged with seriously disturbing the public order.” What’s the definition of this?

    My guess is these so-called ‘criminals’ were leading a protest against flagrant abuses of the law, rights and freedoms, by the very organisation that is now parading them around like animals.

  • Jahar

    When I was in Cambodia, I saw a board with people’s photos. They were all holding paper with Khmer script on it. We assumed it was essentially a sign saying “I’m a thief”, and that they had been caught stealing. Good idea. As for the “face” issue, IF they are convicted(of an actual crime), they deserve it.

  • Castro

    I’m no expert, and I don’t really know if it’s wrong or right, good or bad in the big cosmological scheme of things,,,,, but somehow, someway it just looks strange to me. Like savage or something,,, I don’t exactly know the word to describe it,,, but I do know what I feel it is the opposite of-


    • Bruce Tutty

      ‘primitive’ I think is the word you are looking for.

  • pervertt

    Placards around necks of criminals are disturbingly reminiscent of the shameful punishment of officials and intellectuals who had fallen out of favour during the Cultural Revolution. Half a century of progress and is this is the best that the justice system can come up with in China?

    • pete

      I thought the same.

  • typingfromwork

    This is a really excessive, especially since they are just suspects.

    I’m all for public shaming of criminals but do it as a print in a local paper or make them do community service. Stringing them up like a bunch of POWs and paraded around like cattle is not going to help at all.

  • Hongjian

    Chinese have nothing to lose but either their faces or their lives. Most people have neither money, nor anyone or anything dear to them to deter them from committing crimes.

    Any contemporary Chinese legal system must be based upon these two things.
    So, public shamings and public executions are the obvious and only punishments remotely working for the Chinese people.

    Dont believe me? Then try to fine and sentence a homeless person to prison.
    The next day, hundred millions of homeless people all around the country are committing crimes to get into prison, where they do not have to starve anymore, have a roof over them, and even a bed to sleep, as well as many other inmates to play cards with. A tremendous improvement of the situation isnt a punishment, nor it is deterring any crimes. Death solves the matter.

    And for some people, even death is better than their previous situation.
    And to solve this, one must add insult to injury, add humiliation to death.

    For all those babbies who now cry wolf, i’m talking about ordinary, low level criminals and muggers that are fucking up your evening walk in the suburbs – not those corrupt shits and financial criminals who have actually something to lose beside their faces and lives, and who are fucking up even greater things.
    For those, one must add the death and defacement of their whole families and guanxi to public shamings and public executions, as cancer can only be cured by cutting out all the flesh that is affected by it.

  • Dogbert

    All beggars and petty criminals should be executed to improve society. Also execute people who drive rudely. Let people take home the severed head as a souvenir.

  • Foreign Devil

    Can public lynchings be far away?

  • Mark ,

    So you still do this in China, It’s not a good look. In the west when we see you do this shaming to your own people. We think that OK, you have more money now but apart from this China, hasn’t changed for the better since 1965.
    So are you still burning your books? How about burning your lap tops,