CHINA: BRITON EXECUTED FOR DRUG SMUGGLING
December 29, 2009: Akmal Shaikh, a British national who was convicted of smuggling drugs into China, was executed by lethal injection in Urumqi after approval from China's Supreme People's Court (SPC).
The SPC said that it had reviewed and approved the death sentence against Akmal Shaikh.
Shaikh, 53, male, was caught carrying up to 4,030 grams of heroin at the international airport of Urumqi in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous from Dushanbe, capital of Tajikstan, on the morning of September 12, 2007.
Shaikh was sentenced to death in the first instance by the Intermediate People's Court of Urumqi on October 29, 2008 and his final verdict came in October after two failed appeals.
The SPC said that the defendant's litigation rights and legitimate treatment had been fully granted in custody and trial.
Officials from the British embassy in China and a British organization had proposed a mental disease examination on Akmal Shaikh, but the documents they provided could not prove he had mental disorder nor did members of his family have history of mental disease, the SPC said.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: â€śI condemn the execution of Akmal Shaikh in the strongest terms, and am appalled and disappointed that our persistent requests for clemency have not been granted,â€ť Shaikh's family insist that he suffered from bipolar disorder and that he had been tricked into carrying drugs by a criminal gang. (Sources: Xinhua, Agence France Presse, 29/12/2009)