Akmal Shaikh by didier9

VIEWS: 130 PAGES: 5

									Akmal Shaikh

1

Akmal Shaikh
Akmal Shaikh (5 April 1956 – 29 December 2009[1] ) was a British national, born in Pakistan, who was convicted and executed in the People's Republic of China for drug trafficking. Opponents of his execution claim he suffered from mental illness and was tricked into carrying drugs.[2] The anti-death-penalty organisation Reprieve claims that Shaikh was the first national of a European country to be executed in China in over 50 years.

Background
Shaikh migrated with his parents during his childhood. He married a Hindu who converted to Islam. They had two sons and a daughter together. They lived in the United States in the 1980s, where Shaikh was an estate agent. They moved back to the United Kingdom when the business failed. He then started a mini cab business in London but fell into bankruptcy. He was accused of sexual harassment by a former employee before an employment tribunal. His marriage also ended in divorce. He subsequently moved to Poland.[3] Shaikh reportedly had ambitions to become a pop star and travelled widely.[4] According to information published by campaigning groups and media reports, Shaikh travelled to Poland, where he wrote a song which was recorded with the help of two British musicians, Paul Newberry and Gareth Saunders. In interviews with the media, the musicians claimed that Shaikh had no musical talent and appeared to entertain delusional ideas about stardom.[5] He also reportedly became involved with a person named Carlos who led Shaikh to believe that he had contacts in the music industry and could help make Shaikh famous. Shaikh travelled to Kyrgyzstan, where a man named Okole, purporting to be the owner of a nightclub in China, promised Shaikh an opportunity to perform at the club. Okole and Shaikh travelled together to China, stopping in Tajikistan, where Okole arranged accommodation for both of them in a five-star hotel, which reinforced Shaikh's impression that he was living a celebrity lifestyle.[6] [7] According to reports, Okole then told Shaikh he would have to travel alone to China as the flight was full, giving him a suitcase to carry and promising to join him later in China.[7] [3] Akmal Shaikh flew from Dushanbe, in Tajikistan, to Ürümqi, in Xinjiang, Northwest China, apparently expecting to meet up with Okole there.[4]

Arrest and trial
Shaikh was arrested in September 2007 at Ürümqi Airport when a baggage search revealed he was carrying 4 kilograms (9 lb) of heroin. The Chinese criminal code provides the death penalty for smuggling heroin in quantities more than 50 grams (2 oz), and Shaikh was sentenced to death. Shaikh denied all knowledge of the heroin, and said that he was duped into carrying the drugs as an unwitting mule after falling for a confidence trick in which a gang of fraudsters pretended they would help Shaikh become a pop star.[8] An appeal to the Chinese Supreme Court failed on 21 December 2009.[9] Relatives of Shaikh said that he was unaware of his impending execution throughout this time[2] and was informed that he was to be executed 24 hours in advance of the scheduled execution.[10] His visiting cousins said he was "obviously very upset" at the news.

Clemency campaign
Campaigners for the release of Shaikh say that there was evidence that he suffered from a form of bipolar disorder, and that his delusions of pop stardom were symptomatic of his condition. The disorder is also said to have made him especially susceptible to confidence tricks such as the one which led him to carry heroin.[6] The case attracted support from the United Nations,[11] various human rights organisations (including Reprieve and Amnesty International) and mental health charities, as well as from notable individuals such as actor Stephen Fry[12] (himself a sufferer of bipolar disorder).[13] [14] Two of Shaikh's cousins flew to Ürümqi on 27 December 2009 to join British

Akmal Shaikh Embassy officials in delivering pleas for clemency to the President of China, Hu Jintao.[15] Britain made 27 official representations to the Chinese government about the case; Gordon Brown has reportedly written several times to Hu Jintao, and pleaded the case personally to Wen Jiabao during the Copenhagen summit.[1] The Chinese Embassy in London issued a statement about the case, citing the obligations of the People's Republic of China to United Nations Conventions against Illicit Drug Trafficking and the need to punish the "grave crime" of drug smuggling, while going against the UN's stated rejection of the death penalty [16]. The embassy statement asserted that Shaikh's rights and interests under Chinese law "are properly respected and guaranteed".[17] The Chinese Supreme Court confirmed the death sentence on 29 December 2009, paving the way for an immediate execution.[18]

2

Issues of mental health
Akmal Shaikh had never been diagnosed of mental disorder by a psychiatrist before the arrest.[19] According to Chinese law, sufficient evidence must be provided in order to qualify a mental assessment. While in this case, the Supreme Court decreed that the material provided by the British government did not qualify such a process, and Shaikh himself provided no such evidence, the case itself provided no reason to question his mental state, and therefore the request for an assessment of his mental state did not meet the necessary conditions.[20] [21] A statement issued by the Chinese embassy in London restated the view that Shaikh presented no evidence of previous mental illness[22] and Chinese media also commented that medical records provided by the British Embassy contained no documentary evidence to support claims of his condition.[23] According to the law of the People's Republic of China, the court exercised its right to reject requests to examine the defendant's mental condition.[24] Jonathan Watts of the The Guardian contrasted the case with a previous trial of an unnamed American national who successfully reduced his sentence on a murder case because the court accepted that he was a paranoid schizophrenic.[25]

Execution
Shaikh was executed by lethal injection at 10:30 China standard time (02:30 GMT) on 29 December 2009 in Ürümqi.[1] [26] According to Reprieve, Shaikh was the first national of an EU country to be executed in China in over 50 years.[25]

Reaction to execution
United Kingdom
Prime Minister Gordon Brown released a statement following the execution saying: "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."[27] Foreign Secretary David Miliband said: "The UK is completely opposed to the use of the death penalty in all circumstances. However I also deeply regret the fact that our specific concerns about the individual in this case were not taken into consideration despite repeated calls by the Prime Minister, ministerial colleagues and me. These included mental health issues, and inadequate professional interpretation during the trial."[28] Media reaction in the UK was largely critical of the execution,[29] [30] [31] although Leo McKinstry in The Daily Mail expressed support for putting Shaikh to death as a suitable punishment for drug trafficking.[32]

Akmal Shaikh

3

People's Republic of China
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu said, "Nobody has the right to speak ill of China's judicial sovereignty. We express our strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition over the groundless British accusations."[27] The Chinese Embassy in London issued a statement saying, "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."[27] They also stated that Shaikh had no previous medical record for mental illness,[22] despite the fact that the Chinese authorities had persistently refused to allow Shaikh to be examined by psychologists.[31]

International reaction
Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt said: "The European Union is firmly opposed to the use of the death penalty in any case, whatever the reason for it. If anyone should be convicted for drug smuggling, they should be convicted for it and they should be given a prison sentence. That could be a long one – that's up to the individual countries to decide – but the death penalty is unacceptable in each and every case."[27] United Nations Special Rapporteur Philip Alston said: "We are informed that the initial conviction was based on a 30-minute hearing which would not seem to indicate due process or effective defence or presentation of evidence. We are then told that in the appeal requests to present medical evidence, requests to the court that it should appoint an expert to assess Mr Shaikh were all rejected. So, it's not very encouraging in fact that the Chinese courts were so dismissive of what appears to be at least an initial case."[27] European Union statement: "The European Union condemns in the strongest terms the execution of Akmal Shaikh. It deeply regrets the fact that China has not heeded the repeated calls by the European Union and one of its member states for the death sentence passed against Mr Shaikh to be commuted."[27]

See also
• Illegal drug trade in the People's Republic of China • Human rights in China

References
[1] Topping, Alexandra; Watt, Nicholas; Watts, Jonathan (29 December 2009). " Fury as China executes British drug smuggler (http:/ / www. guardian. co. uk/ world/ 2009/ dec/ 29/ akmal-shaikh-execution-china)". The Guardian. . [2] " Condemned Briton Akmal Shaikh 'not told execution date' (http:/ / news. bbc. co. uk/ 2/ hi/ uk_news/ 8431750. stm)". BBC News. 27 December 2009. . Retrieved 28 December 2009. [3] Is it too late to save Briton Akmal Shaikh from death by Chinese firing squad? (http:/ / www. dailymail. co. uk/ news/ article-1238829/ Akmal-Shaikh-Is-late-save-Briton-death-Chinese-firing-squad. html) [4] " British man said to be mentally ill executed in China (http:/ / news. bbc. co. uk/ 1/ hi/ uk/ 8433285. stm)". BBC. 29th December 2009. . Retrieved 29 December 2009. [5] " Akmal Shaikh: Briton executed by lethal injection in China – and his body will not be returned (http:/ / www. dailymail. co. uk/ news/ worldnews/ article-1238454/ Akmal-Shaikh-Briton-executed-Chinese-firing-squad-body-returned. html)". Daily Mail. 29 December 2009. . Retrieved 29 December 2009. [6] " Cases – Akmal Shaikh (http:/ / www. reprieve. org. uk/ akmalshaikh)". Reprieve (campaigning organisation). . Retrieved 26 December 2009. [7] Pidd, Helen (28 December 2009). " Akmal Shaikh's harebrained business schemes and dreams of pop stardom (http:/ / www. guardian. co. uk/ uk/ 2009/ dec/ 28/ akmal-shaikh-execution-china-mental-illness)". The Guardian. . Retrieved 29 December 2009. [8] Dodd, Vikran (22 December 2009). " Family plead for life of mentally ill Briton facing execution in China (http:/ / www. guardian. co. uk/ world/ 2009/ dec/ 22/ akmal-shaikh-china-execution)". The Guardian. . Retrieved 26 December 2009. [9] Dodd, Vikram (21 December 2009). " Briton's death sentence upheld by China's supreme court (http:/ / www. guardian. co. uk/ world/ 2009/ dec/ 21/ briton-death-sentence-confirmed-china)". The Guardian. . Retrieved 26 December 2009. [10] " Akmal Shaikh told of execution for drug smuggling (http:/ / news. bbc. co. uk/ 1/ hi/ uk/ 8432351. stm)". BBC News. 28 December 2009. . Retrieved 28 December 2009. [11] " U.N. official urges China not to execute Briton (http:/ / www. cnn. com/ 2009/ WORLD/ asiapcf/ 12/ 24/ china. british. smuggler/ index. html)". CNN. 24 December 2009. . Retrieved 26 December 2009.

Akmal Shaikh
[12] " Stephen Fry pleads for the life of fellow bipolar sufferer Akmal Shaikh (http:/ / www. reprieve. org. uk/ stephenfryappeal)". Reprieve. . Retrieved 27 December 2009. [13] Llewellyn, Gareth (21 October 2009). " Mentally ill Briton 'could be executed within days' (http:/ / www. independent. co. uk/ news/ world/ asia/ mentally-ill-briton-could-be-executed-within-days-1806568. html)". The Independent. . Retrieved 26 December 2009. [14] " Stephen Fry begs China to spare life of mentally ill Briton facing death by firing squad (http:/ / www. dailymail. co. uk/ news/ article-1219618/ Stephen-Fry-begs-China-spare-life-mentally-ill-Briton-facing-death-firing-squad. html)". Daily Mail. 12 October 2009. . Retrieved 26 December 2009. [15] Batty, David (28 December 2009). " Family visit death row Briton in China (http:/ / www. guardian. co. uk/ world/ 2009/ dec/ 28/ briton-akmal-shaikh-family-visit)". The Guardian. . Retrieved 28 December 2009. [16] http:/ / www. un. org/ apps/ news/ story. asp?NewsID=21134& Cr=Iraq& Cr1 [17] " Statement of the Spokesman of Chinese Embassy on the Case of Akmal Shaikh (http:/ / www. chinese-embassy. org. uk/ eng/ sghd/ t647792. htm)". Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the United Kingdom. 24 December 2009. . Retrieved 26 December 2009. [18] Richardson, Ben (29 December 2009). " China's Supreme Court Approves Execution of Briton, Xinhua Says (http:/ / www. bloomberg. com/ apps/ news?pid=20601087& sid=afjuXCGN4NzI& pos=9)". Bloomberg. . Retrieved 29 December 2009. [19] " Akmal Shaikh's harebrained business schemes and dreams of pop stardom (http:/ / www. guardian. co. uk/ uk/ 2009/ dec/ 28/ akmal-shaikh-execution-china-mental-illness)". The Guardian. 29 December 2009. . Retrieved 29 December 2009. [20] " China's Supreme Court Approves Death Sentence on the Case of Akmal Shaikh (http:/ / news. xinhuanet. com/ legal/ 2009-12/ 29/ content_12721404. htm)". Xinhua News. 29 December 2009. . Retrieved 29 December 2009. [21] http:/ / www. smh. com. au/ world/ we-dont-know-if-firing-squad-has-killed-him-britons-cousin-20091229-li6r. html [22] " Statement of the Chinese Embassy on the Case of Akmal Shaikh (http:/ / www. chinese-embassy. org. uk/ eng/ sghd/ t648674. htm)". Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the United Kingdom. 29 December 2009. . Retrieved 29 December 2009. [23] " British drug smuggler executed (http:/ / www. chinadaily. com. cn/ china/ 2009-12/ 29/ content_9243734. htm)". China Daily. 29 December 2009. . Retrieved 29 December 2009. [24] . Xinhuanet. http:/ / news. xinhuanet. com/ legal/ 2009-12/ 29/ content_12721404. htm. Retrieved 29 December 2009. [25] " Capital punishment in China (http:/ / www. guardian. co. uk/ world/ 2009/ dec/ 28/ akmal-shaikh-china-execution-background)". Guardian. 28 December 2009. . Retrieved 29 December 2009. [26] " 阿克毛被注射执行死刑 (http:/ / news. xinhuanet. com/ legal/ 2009-12/ 29/ content_12722978. htm)". Xinhuanet. 29 December 2009. . Retrieved 29 December 2009. [27] " China execution: International reaction (http:/ / news. bbc. co. uk/ 1/ hi/ world/ asia-pacific/ 8433300. stm)". BBC News. 29 December 2009. . Retrieved 29 December 2009. [28] " PM slams man's execution in China (http:/ / www. journallive. co. uk/ north-east-news/ uk-news-world/ 2009/ 12/ 29/ pm-slams-man-s-execution-in-china-84229-25484934/ )". Journal Live. 29 December 2009. . Retrieved 29 December 2009. [29] " China has made a mockery of justice (http:/ / www. guardian. co. uk/ commentisfree/ libertycentral/ 2009/ dec/ 29/ china-akmal-shaikh-death-penalty)". The Guardian. 29 December 2009. . Retrieved 29 December 2009. [30] " China stands firm by its principles despite a British outcry (http:/ / www. telegraph. co. uk/ news/ worldnews/ asia/ china/ 6905593/ China-stands-firm-by-its-principles-despite-a-British-outcry. html)". The Telegraph. 29 December 2009. . Retrieved 29 December 2009. [31] Eimer, David (29 December 2009). " Execution of Briton Akmal Shaikh: China defiant in the face of criticism (http:/ / www. telegraph. co. uk/ news/ worldnews/ asia/ china/ 6904175/ Execution-of-Briton-Akmal-Shaikh-China-defiant-in-the-face-of-criticism. html)". The Telegraph. . Retrieved 29 December 2009. "Mr Brown expressed his anger over the fact that the Chinese authorities had persistently refused to allow Mr Shaikh to be examined by psychologists." [32] McKinstry, Leo (29 December 2009). " LEO McKINSTRY: Sorry not to join the liberal wailing: heroin traffickers deserve to die (http:/ / www. dailymail. co. uk/ debate/ article-1239051/ LEO-McKINSTRY-Sorry-join-liberal-wailing-heroin-traffickers-deserve-die. html)". Daily Mail. . Retrieved 29 December 2009.

4

Article Sources and Contributors

5

Article Sources and Contributors
Akmal Shaikh  Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=334753718  Contributors: 7ofclubs, Academic Challenger, Adi4094, Alansohn, Art LaPella, Badagnani, Bahnhof, Blodance, BorgQueen, Caeruleancentaur, Closedmouth, Colipon, Hektor, Jbarta, Jolly Janner, Joseph Solis in Australia, Kintetsubuffalo, Laager, Lkjhgfdsa 0, Lugnuts, Malosinus, Matt.whitby, Midway, Miffy bunny, Moe Epsilon, MythNReality, Ohconfucius, Onjacktallcuca, Orderinchaos, Pauli133, Philip Stevens, Quantumobserver, Reenem, Ricky@36, Robsmyth40, Rrburke, Ruverma, Ryan Postlethwaite, SGGH, Sensei48, Ser Amantio di Nicolao, Skizzik, Sky4t0k, Solcuerda, Spiderone, Spursspursspurs, Stroppolo, Taelus, Tangles82, Tariqabjotu, The Magnificent Clean-keeper, Thisrain, Timotheus Canens, Ufinne, Vsion, WTRiker, WikiLaurent, Yudian, Zhanzhao, 113 anonymous edits

License
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported http:/ / creativecommons. org/ licenses/ by-sa/ 3. 0/


								
To top