Akmal Shaikh, a British citizen convicted of smuggling heroine into China, was executed on Tuesday although his families along with the British government had pleaded for reprieve, claiming that he is mentally ill.
The supreme court of China however dismissed the request of a mental assessment because the documents provided by the British embassy cannot prove that Akmal is mentally disordered.
After the inject of Akmal by lethal injection, the British government and some right organizations reacted fiercely. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown condemned the execution and said he was “”particularly concerned that no mental health assessment was undertaken.”
Facing the critique, China expressed strong discontent. The spokesman of foreign ministry said the accusation is groundless and warned that the intervention might damage the bilateral relations between the two countries.
In China, drug trafficking is considered as a felony. Carrying or selling heroine of more than 50 grams will get death penalty according to the Chinese law, and over 4000 grams were found on Akmal.
To many Chinese netizens, the incident reminded them of the 2 Opium Wars fought in 19 century that British troop invaded China because Chinese officials burned up the opium
sold by British. China lost the war and suffered from the “100 years of humiliation” since then.
On 163.com, a major portal website in China, over 3000 people supported a comment left after the news piece, which writes:
Acekingfang, moreover, thought the execution shows China is rising.
zha811's comment demonstrated a similar mentality
In China, it is long complained that foreigners, in particular westerners, are treated as if they are privileged with a higher status. In 2008, a train made an unscheduled stop in order to send several Japanese passengers to the airport and even police cars were used to escort them. However, in another case a mentally ill Chinese citizen was fastened by the train attendants to the seat and left to death with no one tending him. This time, the court's ruling that treats people equally seems to win applause.
Wang Wen, a editor of Global Times, believes: