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China doctor guilty of baby trafficking

14 january 2014, 12:28
0
Zhang Shuxia, an obstetrician involved in baby trafficking, stands trial in Weinan Intermediate People's Court in Weinan, Shaanxi province, December 30, 2013. ©Reuters/China Daily
Zhang Shuxia, an obstetrician involved in baby trafficking, stands trial in Weinan Intermediate People's Court in Weinan, Shaanxi province, December 30, 2013. ©Reuters/China Daily
A Chinese court on Tuesday convicted an obstetrician of abducting newborn babies and gave her a suspended death sentence, AFP reports.

Zhang Shuxia sold seven children in the northern province of Shaanxi, the intermediate court in Weinan said on a verified social media account.

The penalty is normally commuted to life imprisonment.

Zhang obtained most of the newborns by telling their parents that they were sick or had died, before selling them to traffickers for prices reaching 47,000 yuan ($7,800), the court said.

Tens of thousands of children are believed to be stolen each year in China.

Most are sold within the country to meet demand fuelled by a one-child limit and traditional preference for sons, while parents accuse apathetic police of failing to investigate.

The court found that Zhang had persuaded a mother to give up a pair of newborn female twins last year on the grounds that one had died of disease, while the other had injured arms and legs.

Another baby she sold was later found dead in a ditch, dumped by a trafficker, the court said.

Zhang had received 20,000 yuan each for several female babies, it added, while one male baby fetched a price of 47,000 yuan in 2011.

Some of the babies she abducted were later found by police and returned to their parents, the court said.

It sentenced Zhang to death with a two-year reprieve, adding that her actions "had a negative impact on society".

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