Tags: China | Britain | execution | row

China Warns Britain Over Execution Row

Tuesday, 29 December 2009 10:36 AM

China has warned Britain that it must stop its fierce condemnation of the execution of Akmal Shaikh for drug smuggling, or risk harming diplomatic ties between the two countries.

The execution has provoked strong criticism from Gordon Brown, the British Prime Minister, who said in a statement that he was “appalled”.

Government ministers repeatedly called on China to show clemency because Shaikh was believed to suffer from severe bipolar disorder.

On Tuesday, a spokeswoman for China’s foreign ministry expressed China’s anger at the British Government’s response to the death sentence.

“Nobody has the right to speak ill of China’s judicial sovereignty,” said spokeswoman Jiang Yu.

“We express strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition over the groundless British accusations. We hope that the British side can view this matter rationally and not create new obstacles in bilateral relations.”

While Mr Brown led the condemnation of the execution, it was the comments from Ivan Lewis, a Foreign Office minister, that were the most incendiary.

Mr Lewis said the execution made him “sick to the stomach”, and that it was “reprehensible” and “entirely unacceptable” that Mr Shaikh’s mental health was not assessed before he was put to death.

Shaikh was executed by lethal injection at 10.30am local time on Tuesday (230am GMT) at the Xishan Detention Centre in Urumqi, in the far west of China.

His daughter expressed her outrage that his illness was not taken into consideration by the Chinese courts.

“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,” Leilla Horsnell said.

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Tuesday, 29 December 2009 10:36 AM
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