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A lead injection for his trouble

The regime in China is obviously brutal and essentially totalitarian and I have no love for its so called justice system but it makes no secret of its willingness to execute criminals even if they are not Chinese citizens. Smuggling 4kg of Heroin is not a trivial offence in any jurisdiction but I find it very hard to believe that it is worthy of a capital sanction. The Chinese obviously consider the crime worthy of the ultimate punishment.

Family members said that they hoped China would show clemency because, they say, Mr Shaikh suffers from bipolar disorder that makes him mentally incompetent to understand fully what is happening to him.

Akmal Shaikh was said to have been duped into being a drug mule due to his mental state

His daughter, Leilla Horsnell, said she was not optimistic. She told the BBC: “I’d like to be hopeful, but time just seems to be running out.”

She said it was a good thing that the Chinese authorities had kept from her father the information that he faced execution tomorrow until just 24 hours before the sentence was to be carried out. “And so I don’t think him being told would mean anything … it might make it worse if he was aware of what was happening.”She said it was unclear how far his mental state had deteriorated. “We do know in one of the appeals he insisted on giving his own statements and he couldn’t even speak properly, and what he was saying wasn’t making much sense.”

Two cousins, Soohail Shaikh and Nasir Shaikh were accompanied by British consular officials when they visited Mr Shaikh at a secure hospital in Urumqi, capital of the restive, mainly Muslim Xinjiang region, this morning.

I have no doubt that by the time this post has been published that Akmal Shaikh will have been executed , the Chinese have repeatedly shown that they are indifferent to what anyone else thinks about the way that they provide “justice” in thier country. However it seems to me that the argument that because Akmal Shaikh has bi-polar disorder he would not have been competent to understand that smuggling heroin  was wrong or that countries like China may give you a bullet in the back of the head if they catch you trying to do it. As soon as you suggest that someone has any kind of mental illness many people think that it is a “get out of jail free card”, Personally I think that the sort of disorder is important because not every type of mental illness makes someone incapable of appreciating the gravity of their actions.

I suspect is that the family are holding on to the mental illness idea because then they can maintain the belief that Akmal Shaikh is still worthy of their love, and that he does not deserve his fate.

Akmal Shaikh did the crime  and by now he has paid the price so the lesson to be learned here is don’t be a stupid as this chap and you won’t get a lead injection for your trouble.

Cheers Comrades



  1. Curious George says:

    How many people would have the 4 kilos killed? Surely you need this response from the state to protect its citizens?

  2. Iain Hall says:

    He has been executed

    British man Akmal Shaikh has been executed in China, the Foreign Office has confirmed.

    Mr Shaikh was due to be put to death at 2.30am UK time, and just after 4am his execution by firing squad was reported. He was said to have been buried immediately following his death and his body will not be returned to the UK.

    source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1238454/Akmal-Shaikh-Time-running-says-daughter-death-row-Briton-executed-hours.html#ixzz0b3NW5lIN

  3. bingbing says:

    Drugs should be decriminalised. Not legalised, then the basterds (sic) would tax them.

    PS Hope you had a good Christmas, Iain.

  4. kae says:

    That’s interesting. The news reports I heard were that he’d been executed by lethal injection.

    My thought was “life is cheap in China”.

  5. staydead23 says:

    that’s rubbish george,the fact is proportionate to the number of people who would have partaken of the gear perhaps 1 may have turned blue. it’s a management issue. there’s nothing bad about heroin.

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