China executed six more drug dealers on the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, vowing to continue the country's tough anti-narcotics campaign.
The dealers accused of producing, trading and smuggling drugs in Yunnan and Henan provinces and Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region were sentenced to death by local courts, while the Supreme People's Court (SPC) upheld their verdicts.
Early this week, China had executed three drug dealers and sentenced five more to death in a mass sentencing aimed at turning the spotlight on drug abuse and to reflect China's determination to battle drug-related crimes.
SPC spokesman Ni Shouming was quoted by official Xinhua news agency as saying it would firmly support the crackdown on drug dealings and would approve any verdicts of lower courts which would provide enough evidence for death penalty.
Under the law, dealing in a minimum of 50 grams of heroin warrants death penalty in some provinces in China, but it differs in some others.
"The number of drug-related cases have been growing with more gangs, families and organisations involved," Ni said, adding, the country's anti-drug campaign would remain tough, according to state-run China Daily.
The SPC, the Supreme People's Procuratorate and Ministry of Public Security issued new judicial interpretation and penalties to be imposed for drugs such as ketamine and methadone, last year.
A person smuggling, trading, transporting, manufacturing or possessing one kg of drugs is liable to a minimum of seven years imprisonment or capital punishment, depending on the severity of the case.
The transportation of drugs is becoming more complex as pregnant women or nursing mothers are being used, Ni said.
The SPC would not change its stance on drug crimes and punishment, he said, with reference to review of death penalties, a function that was returned to the SPC in January last year.
Beijing has often come under criticism of human right groups for resorting to death penalty frequently but China maintains that it is being used sparingly and judiciously with public support in its favour.