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China sacks officers after 3-man jailbreak

September 5, 2014

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese authorities announced Friday that a jail warden and three other police officers were fired after a rare jailbreak in northern China by three inmates who strangled a guard.

Police have recaptured two of the men who escaped early Tuesday morning from the Yanshou county detention center in the northeastern city of Harbin. Still on the run is a man identified as Gao Yulun, who was convicted of murder and sentenced to death.

Harbin police said four police officers, including the jail warden and a deputy police chief who oversaw the facility, were fired and placed under investigation. They are likely to be accused of negligence. Surveillance video has shown that the three inmates strangled a uniformed guard, then moved around inside the facility, donned police uniforms and walked out without further interference.

Chinese detention centers and prisons usually are run strictly and escapes are extremely rare.

China imprisons a far smaller percentage of its population than the U.S. — 118 per 100,000 people compared to America’s 737 per 100,000. However, punishments are often harsh, and China is believed to execute more people for crimes each year than the rest of the world combined.

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