The moments preceding the execution of four foreign men for the killing of 13 Chinese fishermen on the Mekong River in 2011 were televised on China’s state media outlet, CCTV.

Myanmar drug lord Naw Kham and his accomplices, identified as Hsang Kham, Yi Lai and Zha Xika, were all given a lethal injection in the southwestern city of Kunming, China.

CCTV’s two-hour live broadcast documented the final moments of the four men and has stirred controversy within China and around the world. Though the actual lethal injection took place off-camera, CCTV captured the shackling and transfer of the condemned to a vehicle that brought them to the facility where they would die.  


Foreign media in China live-tweeted the broadcast, as did state-run Xinhua News Agency on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like social media platform.

Here are a few highlights:

Amy Qin, a Beijing-based freelance journalist:

They are binding each prisoner up with rope one-by-one in front of the cameras, getting them ready for execution. Live broadcast on CCTV.


Rob Scmitz, Shanghai-based correspondent for Marketplace:


Melissa Chan, Al-Jazeera English correspondent:


Highlights of Xinhua’s posts compiled by

“13:35 Police cars have arrived at Yunnan Provincial Detention Center. Each offender will be equipped with two police escorts. Judges and prosecutors will supervise the death penalty. Each offender is to be transported separately.

13:58 Hand over begins.

14:01 Naw Kham, escorted by two police officers, brought out of the detention center. His expression is calm, even smiled at police. He is wearing a light green top, blue trousers, and a pair of black shoes.

14:05 Zha Xika brought out. Wearing dark red horizontal striped t-shirt. Looking frantically around him, terrified in comparison to Kham, desperate eyes."