Courts remain committed to handing down heavy punishment for drug-related crimes
Chinese courts handed down sentences to more than 17,000 people for drug-related crimes in the first five months of this year, of whom 4,257 were given prison terms of five years or more, according to the latest figures released by China's top court.
"We've always made efforts to combat drug-related crimes, and we've given harsher punishments to relevant criminals, especially those who produced or smuggled large amounts of drugs," said Li Ruiyi, chief judge of No 5 Criminal Adjudication Tribunal with the Supreme People's Court.
Li disclosed the figures and introduced the handling of drug-related cases at a news conference on Monday, which is also the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
He revealed that more than 56,000 people were punished for drug-related crimes last year, 13,290 of whom had to spend five years or more behind the bars.
In China, a prison term of five years or more is considered heavy punishment.
Criminals who manipulated juveniles to transfer, produce or smuggle drugs, or who provided drugs to children, were major targets for heavy punishment, Li said.
He noted that courts nationwide have been required to strengthen narcotics control in the past decade, with more focus on fighting new types of drugs and dealing with drug-related cases through the internet.
After a strong crackdown, Chinese courts saw a continuous decline of drug-related cases from 2018 to 2022, he said, citing data that showed some 37,000 such cases were solved last year, down 62.75 percent compared with 2018.
In addition, the top court also issued a guideline to regulate evidence collection and law application in tackling drug-related cases in cyberspace, so as to prevent drugs from being purchased or smuggled online, according to Ouyang Nanping, deputy chief judge of the tribunal.