China Execution - Akmal Shaikh

On the news: China's execution of Akmal Shaikh. According to reports, British national and Pakistan-born Akmal Shaikh, 53 has been executed in China after he was caught carrying nine pounds of heroin. Shaikh was executed by firing squad at 10:30 China standard time (02:30 GMT) on 29 December 2009 in Ürümqi despite Britain's diplomatic officials and rights groups' campaign to save his life.

According to his family members and associates, Shaikh was suffering from psychosis two years ago when he stepped off a plane in northwest China carrying a suitcase packed with nearly nine pounds of heroin.
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 claimed 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.

An appeal to the Chinese Supreme Court failed on 21 December 2009. Relatives of Shaikh claimed that he was unaware of his impending execution throughout this time and was informed that he was to be executed 24 hours in advance of the scheduled execution. His visiting cousins said he was "obviously very upset" at the news.
Check out this video of the appeal by his family:

http://bit.ly/akmal-shaikh-execution

Akmal Shaikh became the first national from a European Union country to be executed in China in over 50 years.