A woman in southwest China has been executed after being convicted of forcing 22 schoolchildren into prostitution, state press said on Monday.
Zhao Qingmei was put to death in Guizhou province "in recent days" after her final appeal was rejected, the Guizhou Daily reported.
Zhao was convicted with six others of forcing the 22 pupils, some of whom may have been as young as six, and an older girl into prostitution in the impoverished mountainous province from March to June 2006, the paper said.
Zhao was also convicted of aiding her husband in the rape of a child, it added.The report said the other defendants, including Zhao's husband, were given sentences ranging from jail time, including life sentences, to death with a two-year reprieve, a punishment normally commuted to life in prison.
China annually executes more people than the rest of the world combined, last year putting to death more than 1,700 people out of a global total of almost 2,400, according to Amnesty International.
As China does not publish full data on death sentences, rights groups say the numbers of people executed could be far higher.