China to Execute British Drug Offender Tuesday Morning

Akmal Shaikh, a Briton, is 54 and bi-polar. He was convicted of smuggling 4 kilos of heroin into China, for which China plans to execute him Tuesday morning. [10:30am on Tuesday morning, Urumqi time (2:30am GMT).]

Shaikh was arrested on arrival in Urumqi from Tajikistan. Campaigners say he was duped into carrying the drugs for a gang. Reprieve says that Shaikh was lured to China by two men who promised to help him to launch a career in pop music by recording a single that would prove a hit and usher in world peace.

His cousins are in China, trying to stop the execution. He will be the first European national executed in China in 50 years.

The authorities have given no indications that they would be ready to set aside the death penalty in the case. Several appeals from Gordon Brown to China’s leaders to exercise clemency have fallen on deaf ears.

Reprieve, an organization working to enforce prisoners' human rights, has also been trying to convince China to change the sentence. Because of the publicity the case has received, China is likely to use lethal injection rather than the firing squad to kill Shaikh.

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  • Display: Sort:
    One execution: millions reprieved, more to save. (none / 0) (#1)
    by kidneystones on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 01:01:45 AM EST
    I credit Bill Clinton and George Bush.

    At the end of 2008, 2.9 million Africans were on the lifesaving therapy, up by more than one-third from the previous year.

    Similar gains have been made in testing pregnant women for HIV and persuading infected ones to take antiretroviral drugs to prevent transmission of the virus to their babies...

    About 628,000 HIV-positive women in the developing world received antiretroviral drugs during pregnancy. That is 45 percent of the total number of infected pregnant women who should have received the therapy. An even higher percentage of infected women in eastern and southern Africa received the medicines during pregnancy. In those regions, preventing mother-to-child transmissions has been the focus of programs funded through the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, created under George W. Bush.

    Millions of innocents have been saved by the generosity and active participation of individuals, NGOs, and governments, including the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations.

    That's something we can all be proud of. I'm sorry that a drug-smuggler is about to lose his life. My own priority, however, will be to concentrate on saving innocents, not those hoping to profit by spreading misery and disease.

    congratulations on your clairvoyance (none / 0) (#2)
    by Dadler on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 01:22:49 AM EST
    must be nice having the ability to conjure whom is guilty and whom is innocent, from the other side of the earth, merely by consulting your cauldron.

    Actually, I'm on the same side of the world (none / 0) (#3)
    by kidneystones on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 02:10:53 AM EST
    as all the HIV positive folks and the great big signs hanging in airports warning that the penalty for smuggling heroin into China and Singapore is death. I live in Asia.

    If this guy chopped up his kids and claimed he was feeling blue, you'd cut him a pass, right? Do you think those without bi-polar disorder deserve to die for drug-smuggling?

    Over the years I've met a number of normally sensible people who decided to jam in the spike, in part, because famous asshats (Garcia, Cobain, Burroughs)did the same. China isn't having any part of that bulls*it.

    In my tiny universe a million or so infants born into the world HIV positive matter much, much more than the death of a drug-smuggler. The million or so born who will be born into the world in 2010-11 are going to need our help and they deserve it, IMHO.

    Stay off the pipe and stay positive!


    Shouldn't that be "Stay negative!" ? (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Fabian on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 06:23:49 AM EST
    HIV negative.

    I feel sorry for the guy, though.  Mental illness needs to be treated, not exploited by thugs, criminals and ideologues.  


    Happy New Year! (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by kidneystones on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 07:59:39 AM EST
    Violent crime is down and the number of desperately poor people getting the HIV treatment they need is up.

    I don't think anybody should be executed for pretty much anything. Attempting to smuggle heroin into China or Singapore is as close to 'suicide by cop' as I can imagine.

    You'll be familiar enough with all the joy opium has brought China to appreciate, at least, they're entitled to insist foreigners respect the local law of the land.

    The dictatorship in China is as authoritarian as they come. Haven't set foot in the place despite the proximity and can think of a long list of places I'd rather spend my tourist dollars.

    I'm especially pleased that to see Bush's disastrous first-term AIDS policies inverted to do some good. Bush is well-liked and respected in many parts of Africa. Probably more so than in 'liberal' areas of America.

    What are the odds closing Gitmo doesn't even merit discussion in 2010?


    Mangled the edit (none / 0) (#4)
    by kidneystones on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 02:13:30 AM EST
    But here's the link: Global Fund on AIDS

    Better Link (none / 0) (#5)
    by kidneystones on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 02:22:17 AM EST
    If profit off misery... (none / 0) (#8)
    by kdog on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 08:14:35 AM EST
    gets your goat, you must admit there is a list a mile long of misery profiteers ahead of some drug smuggler.

    I wonder why you were so anxious to change the subject to HIV prevention efforts k.s...your precious prohibition when taken to extremes troubles you does it?  Something you'd rather not think about?  It is ok to say the Chinese authorities inflict more horror on people than drug smugglers...the US authorities too for that matter...you can still be an anti-drug advocate and support liberty for all ya know, there is no contradiction.


    Gee, almost makes up (none / 0) (#10)
    by jondee on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 12:24:19 PM EST
    for all those Iraqi kids who died under those U.N - Clinton supported sanctions.



    Speaking of kidney failure.. (none / 0) (#11)
    by jondee on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 12:25:45 PM EST
    Shh (none / 0) (#12)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 02:32:41 PM EST
    were not supposed to talk about those deaths-- remember its only the people who die in Iraq now that a Democrat bears responsibility for not those who perished due to an overly broad sanctions regime.

    Good God. (none / 0) (#9)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 12:03:35 PM EST
    Bi-polar is now a "get out of jail free" card for someone who carefully plans and engages in criminal activity?!

    Pure idiocy.

    big difference (none / 0) (#13)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 05:04:15 PM EST
    between the death penalty and freedom with a huge range of jail sentences in between.

    Not my point. (none / 0) (#14)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 11:34:53 AM EST