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Anti-crime campaign called 'red terror'

  |   March 27, 2012 at 3:06 PM
BEIJING, March 27 (UPI) -- Critics say the crackdown on organized crime by Bo Xilai, a former Communist official in southwestern China, used torture and framed innocent people.

Bo was dismissed as secretary of the Communist Party in Chongqing after his police chief sought asylum in a U.S. consulate. Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, in an apparent criticism, said at a Beijing news conference "the mistakes of the Cultural Revolution" are not "fully eliminated," The New York Times reported Monday.

Much of the campaign now appears to have been aimed at political rivals or at helping Bo's family get rich, the Times said.

The crime crackdown was launched in 2009. In 10 months, 4,781 people were arrested, many of them prominent in business and the criminal justice system, and 13 were put to death, the Times said.

Fan Qihan, 40, who made a fortune in the construction business, was one of those executed. In a videotaped interview before his execution, he described five months of imprisonment under conditions so harsh he tried twice to take his own life. He said he was once kept for five days shackled in such a way that only the tips of his toes were on a table.

Cheng Li, an analyst at the Brookings Institution, called Bo's regime "red terror."

"Even by Chinese Communist Party standards, this is unacceptable," he said.

While many members of the Politburo hailed Bo as a corruption fighter and visited Chongqing, President Hu Jintao and Wen stayed away, the Times said.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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