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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