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Draconian Drug Laws

China executed a British citizen early this morning for smuggling heroin despite claims the man was severely mentally ill.

“A British man convicted of drug smuggling was executed in China early Tuesday, despite appeals for clemency from his family, human rights groups and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, according to British officials. The man, Akmal Shaikh, 53, was executed in the far western region of Xinjiang, where he had been convicted in 2008 of entering the country carrying a suitcase stuffed with heroin. China’s official news agency, Xinhua, said he was executed by lethal injection. Mr. Brown released a statement shortly after the announcement Tuesday, saying he condemned the execution ‘in the strongest terms’ and that he was ‘appalled’ the court did not grant the man clemency. British officials had pressed the Chinese courts to consider Mr. Shaikh’s history of mental disturbance and to allow an independent evaluation of his psychiatric state. But China’s highest court rejected a last-minute appeal from the man’s family, and allowed the execution to go ahead.”


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