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Last pleas for death row Briton Akmal Shaikh

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Last pleas for death row Briton Akmal Shaikh

Post  Guest on Sun 27 Dec - 7:55

Two cousins of a British man facing execution in China have arrived in the country to make a last-ditch appeal to authorities for mercy.

Akmal Shaikh, 53, from London, is due to be executed on 29 December after he was convicted of smuggling heroin.

But relatives Soohail and Nasir Shaikh plan to deliver a plea on his behalf to President Hu Jintao.

Mr Shaikh's supporters say he is mentally ill and Gordon Brown has asked Chinese authorities for clemency.

British consular staff have also flown to the Chinese region of Xinjiang to see the condemned Briton and discuss his case with local officials.

No contact

Legal charity Reprieve, which has taken up the case, said Mr Shaikh's cousins left the UK on Saturday.

They intend to deliver petitions seeking a legal review to China's Supreme People's Court and to the local court in the north-western city of Urumqi where Mr Shaikh was arrested in September 2007.

Reprieve said the men, who are brothers, also planned to appeal to China's president and to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, which is responsible for considering petitions for pardon or clemency.

CHINA DEATH PENALTY
China executed 1,718 people in 2008, according to Amnesty International
Last year 72% of the world's total executions took place in China, the charity estimates
It applies to 60 offences, including non-violent crimes such as tax fraud and embezzlement
Those sentenced to death are usually shot, but some provinces are introducing lethal injections

Mr Shaikh has had no contact with his family for two years, but the cousins hope they may be granted a prison visit with him.

The Briton has denied all knowledge of the 4kg of heroin found in his possession.

His family say he has bipolar disorder and was duped by a criminal gang into unwittingly carrying drugs for them.

Soohail Shaikh says in his petition: "We plead for his life, asking that a full mental health evaluation be conducted to assess the impact of his mental illness, and that recognition be made that he is not as culpable as those who might, under Chinese law, be eligible for the death penalty."

Reprieve's director Clive Stafford Smith said: "The Chinese Embassy authorities were kind and opened on Boxing Day to facilitate a visa for this visit, recognising the devastating blow that this execution date has inflicted on the entire family.

"We very much hope that this compassionate approach continues to the point of granting Akmal a reprieve."

So far China has resisted calls to stop the execution, despite the case being raised by the UK 10 times during the last six months at senior diplomatic levels.

The prime minister himself has even written to China's leaders to express his dismay after Mr Shaikh's sentence was upheld by the Supreme People's Court.

If the sentence is carried out, it would be the first time an EU national has been executed in China for 50 years.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8431478.stm

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Re: Last pleas for death row Briton Akmal Shaikh

Post  Guest on Sun 27 Dec - 8:48

Oh, dear. If you are going to smuggle drugs, then China is not the best place in the world in which to do it....and they DO carry out their sentences. Sadly, I can't see an appeal making much difference.

But it's interesting to see the defence touted that because he has "bi-polar" disorder, he somehow shouldn't be held responsible for his actions. That's the same "defence" as that other lad, I forget his name for the moment, who hacked into the Pentagon computer and left daft notes all over the place. The US were going to extradite him to stand trial in Washington, and his mother was arguing that because he was bi-polar he shouldn't have to account for himself. Actually I thought that she was doing his case more harm than good, myself, but there you go!

If anybody here follows EastEnders, the writers (for once!) have actually done quite a realistic portrayal of bi-polar disorder with the Stacey storyline. It's not nice to have to say it, but I wonder how many people have watched it and thought, "now there's a good excuse!"

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Re: Last pleas for death row Briton Akmal Shaikh

Post  kitti on Sun 27 Dec - 21:41

Hes supposed to be 'deranged' too as someone had been telling him he could sing!!


Better tell some on the x factor their just 'deranged' as they cant sing!


Why is it when someone does something bad in another country...their 'mentally ill' and couldnt help themselves.

The young woman who smuggled drugs and was going to be put to death got 'pregnant' so as not to be hanged, remember, she said she was 'raped'.

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Re: Last pleas for death row Briton Akmal Shaikh

Post  Guest on Tue 29 Dec - 13:44

Well, it's all over now.

China executes Briton over drugs
A British man convicted of drug smuggling in China has been executed, the Foreign Office has confirmed.

Akmal Shaikh, 53, a father-of-three, of London, had denied any wrongdoing and his family said he was mentally ill.

The execution took place despite repeated calls from his family and the British government for clemency.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said he was "appalled and disappointed". But the Chinese Embassy said Mr Shaikh had no previous record of mental illness.

Mr Shaikh's family made continued calls for leniency right up until the execution deadline, citing his mental state, saying that he suffered from bipolar disorder.

His daughter Leilla Horsnell said: "I am shocked and disappointed that the execution went ahead with no regards to my dad's mental health problems, and I struggle to understand how this is justice."

Brothers Soohail and Nasir Shaikh, who travelled to China to visit their cousin in prison and make a last-minute plea for clemency, said they were "deeply saddened, stunned and disappointed".

'Lethal injection'

In a statement issued after the execution, the Chinese Embassy said Mr Shaikh's rights "were properly respected and guaranteed" and British concerns were "duly noted and taken into consideration".

It said: "As for his possible mental illness which has been much talked about, there apparently has been no previous medical record."

A report from the official Chinese news agency Xinhua said that China's Supreme People's Court had not been provided with any documentation proving that Mr Shaikh had a mental disorder.

Mr Shaikh is the first EU national to be executed in China in more than 50 years.

Foreign Office minister Ivan Lewis said he was believed to have died by lethal injection.

His body will not be repatriated to the UK, and Mr Lewis said Mr Shaikh had been buried quickly "in accordance with the Muslim faith".

Mr Shaikh's family said he had been delusional and duped into a carrying a suitcase that did not belong to him when he was found with 4kg of heroin in Urumqi, north-west China, in September 2007.

His daughter has said drug smugglers in Poland convinced him they would make him a pop star in China.

'Inadequate interpretation'

Mr Lewis held last-ditch talks with the Chinese ambassador in London on Monday evening.

He said the government had made 27 representations to China in two years, and believed it had done everything it possibly could.

“ The way the Chinese authorities have stubbornly failed to take account of this poor man's severe mental illness shows that China is still stuck in the dark ages ”
Robert Westhead Charity MDF
The execution made him "sick to the stomach", he said, and China "had a responsibility to adhere to the most basic standards of human rights".

The Chinese ambassador has been summoned to the Foreign Office.

In a statement, Mr Brown said: "I 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.

"I am particularly concerned that no mental health assessment was undertaken.

"At this time our thoughts are with Mr Shaikh's family and friends and I send them our sincere condolences."

Foreign Secretary David Miliband also condemned the execution.

He said the UK was opposed to the use of the death penalty in all circumstances, but also "deeply regretted" that his specific concerns in this case, including "mental health issues, and inadequate professional interpretation" had been ignored.


Conservative leader David Cameron echoed the condemnation, saying he "deplored and deeply regretted" the execution.

"It is appalling that the concerns [about Mr Shaikh's mental health] were not independently assessed during the more than two years [he] was in custody, and taken properly into account in the judicial process," he said.

The legal charity Reprieve had taken up Mr Shaikh's case for the family.

Through the charity, the family issued a statement thanking all those who tried to help including Reprieve, the Foreign Office, those who attended a vigil outside the Chinese embassy in London, and the organisers of a Facebook group calling for clemency.

CHINA DEATH PENALTY

•China executed 1,718 people in 2008, according to Amnesty International
•Last year 72% of the world's total executions took place in China, the charity estimates
•It applies to 60 offences, including non-violent crimes such as tax fraud and embezzlement
•Those sentenced to death are usually shot, but some provinces are introducing lethal injections

They asked for privacy "as they come to terms with what has happened to someone they loved".

Katherine O'Shea, Reprieve's communications director, said it was "devastated" Mr Shaikh had been killed.

"That such a thing can happen in this day and age is really something that should alarm all of us," she said.

"This guy was a very vulnerable person, extremely ill. He slipped through the cracks of society, and he was frankly failed by China and by their legal system. And it's an absolute disgrace that he should have been killed."

Philip Alston, a UN special rapporteur, said the execution amounted to a violation of Chinese and international law.

International law "points very strongly in the direction" of the principle that the death penalty should only be used for crimes which result directly in the death of others, he said.

"It is time for the international community to mount a much more concerted effort to put an end to these sorts of executions," he added.

'Dark ages'

In its statement, the Chinese Embassy said Mr Shaikh was convicted of "serious" drug trafficking.

"The amount of heroin he brought into China was 4,030g, enough to cause 26,800 deaths, threatening numerous families," it said.

It added: "The legal structures of China and UK may be different, but it should not stand in the way of enhancing our bilateral relations on the basis of mutual respect."

A spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Jiang Yu, told a press briefing in Beijing no-one had the right to comment on China's judicial sovereignty.

"We express our strong dissatisfaction and opposition to the British government's unreasonable criticism of the case. We urge [them] to correct their mistake in order to avoid harming China-UK relations," she said.

BBC world affairs correspondent Mike Wooldridge said in the final appeal for clemency before the execution Britain had expressed the hope that its relationship with China would count for something.

"But in the event, its influence has been severely tested in this case," he said.

Charity MDF, The Bipolar Organisation, described the execution as "medieval rough justice" and an "absolute tragedy".

Spokesman Robert Westhead said: "The way the Chinese authorities have stubbornly failed to take account of this poor man's severe mental illness shows that China is still stuck in the dark ages."

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/uk/8433285.stm

Published: 2009/12/29 12:12:48 GMT

© BBC MMIX

The Chinese are claiming that there are no records of Mr Shaikh's mental illness, and some UK charity is insulting the Chinese justice system. It's all pathetic IMHO.

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Re: Last pleas for death row Briton Akmal Shaikh

Post  kitti on Tue 29 Dec - 14:13

Perhaps if the british authorities were more like the chinese and didnt let rapist and murderers in to rape and murder AGAIN then this country would be a nice place to live in.


No medical records were received to back-up his so called bi-polar and........WHEN IN ROME....DO AS THE ROMANS DO....in other words......what the chinese do has nothing to with the uk and looking at the number off people demonstrating outside the chinese embassy concluded what i think....he took in drugs which could off killed THOUSANDS off people in china, did HE think off that, nope...money was the thing he was thinking about.

I'm sorry if i seem harse about this but thats it i'm afraid...using an illness to bring him back to the uk where he would probably NOT languish in prison for that long, eating better that homeless people in this country.


THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT SHOULD START THINKING ABOUT THEIR OWN PEOPLE and STOP WHINGING ON ABOUT SOMEONE WHO TRIED TO SELL DRUGS....

Hes IS or WAS a drug dealer, simple as that.

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Re: Last pleas for death row Briton Akmal Shaikh

Post  kitti on Tue 29 Dec - 14:18

PERHAPS IM BEING A PAIN IN THE ARSE TO DAY LOL....COFF....

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Re: Last pleas for death row Briton Akmal Shaikh

Post  Guest on Tue 29 Dec - 14:34

Having had personal experiences with bipolar, you DO NOT leave relatives on their own for two years to sleep rough in Poland. Then once they get into trouble, pull the "mental illness" card so that they don't have to account for their actions. If his family were that bloomin' concerned, they'd have done something about him two years ago.

I'm sorry if it sounds harsh, but he broke Chinese law. He's subject to Chinese justice. End of.

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