China on Tuesday executed by lethal injection a Pakistani-British citizen convicted of drug smuggling, drawing strong condemnation from an “appalled” U.K. Premier Gordon Brown whose last-minute clemency appeal was rejected.
Akmal Shaikh (53) was executed in Urumqi after approval from China’s Supreme People’s Court (SPC).
Shaikh, a father-of-five from London, is the first EU national to be executed in China in 50 years. He had denied any wrongdoing and his family said he was mentally ill and 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.”
The execution of Shaikh, a British national of Pakistani descent, took place despite repeated calls from his family and the British government for clemency.
Shaikh was caught carrying over 4 kg of heroin at the international airport of Urumqi from Dushanbe, capital of Tajikistan, on September 12, 2007, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
Mr. Brown said he was “appalled and disappointed” at the execution.