Four who helped migrants cross a closed border from Vietnam have been paraded through streets

Authorities in China’s Guangxi region have publicly shamed four people accused of violating rules on Covid-19 by aiding migrants crossing the closed border from Vietnam, according to state news.

State-run news agencies reported on Wednesday that four alleged violators of Covid-19 rules were publicly shamed on Tuesday. The four suspects, clothed in hazmat suits, were paraded around Guangxi region’s Jingxi city in front of a large crowd.

Accompanied by authorities in Hazmat suits, and a large riot police presence, the suspects were seen holding placards displaying their photos and names. Each of the four accused were held by two police officers. 

The four were supposedly punished for transporting illegal migrants from Vietnam. China has imposed strict measures at the border to prevent the spread of Covid-19 from neighboring countries.

Jingxi is near the Chinese border with Vietnam.

A regional news channel said the parade provided a “real-life warning” to the public, and “deterred border-related crimes.”

However, the move has been criticized in other news outlets. Chinese Communist Party-affiliated Beijing News said on Wednesday that despite the pressure on the border city to maintain appropriate Covid-19 prevention measures, public shaming is a step too far.

“The measure seriously violates the spirit of the rule of law and cannot be allowed to happen again,” it read.

The public shaming of criminal suspects in China has been outlawed since 2010. The practice has reportedly resurfaced in recent months as local governments struggle to enforce Beijing’s zero-Covid policy.

Similar scenes were filmed in November and in August, when armed police escorted a suspect through the street to a children’s playground.

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