China Executes Akmal Shaikh
China executed Akmal Shaikh, a British man, convicted of smuggling a suitcase with almost 9 pounds (4 kilograms) of heroin into China on a flight from Tajikistan. Shaikh become the first EU national to be executed in China in 50 years. Shaikh was arrested in 2007 and probably has bipolar disorder. Chinese officials had not taken Shaikh’s mental health into account. Officers said Shaikh did not appear to have mental problems, was friendly with other prisoners and had learned to speak a little Chinese while detained. Mental health concerns had no bearing on the final judgment. It is not known how Shaikh was executed. China executes more people than any other country, some are still carried out by a shot in the head. Shaikh first learned of his death sentence Monday from his visiting cousins, who made a last-minute plea for his life.
China’s judicial authorities independently handled this case in accordance with the law. Drug smuggling is a grave crime. During the entire process, the litigation rights and the relevant rights and interests of the defendant were fully respected and guaranteed. Shaikh told Chinese officials he didn’t know about the drugs and that the suitcase wasn’t his.
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