UK Slams China Over Execution

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The execution of Briton Akmal Shaikh by Chinese authorities has been condemned by the British government, with the foreign office describing his death as a sad day.

[Ivan Lewis, British Foreign Office]:
"Well as the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary have said it is a deeply depressing day. Anybody with a modicum of compassion or commitment to justice in Britain or around the world will be very very saddened by this decision by the Chinese. Our thoughts are with Mr. Shaikh's family. It can not be right, it is reprehensible to put to death a man with mental health problems."

The 53 year old was sentenced to death after being found guilty of smuggling around four kilograms of heroin into the country.

The day before his death, his family and supporters held a vigil outside the Chinese embassy in London.

They along with British diplomats had appealed for clemency.

His relatives said he had bipolar disorder, something they say the Chinese didn't consider.

His execution has sparked a diplomatic row between China and the UK.

[Ivan Lewis, British Foreign Office]:
"Well we provided China with lots of evidence of very bizarre behavior of Mr. Shaikh over a long period of time. The thing that horrified us the most is that Chinese courts refused to even undertake a medical assessment prior to proceeding with this execution. By any standards of human rights at the beginning of the 21st century that can not be acceptable."

China defended its actions and said Britain's response was groundless.

It was in this hospital in China, where Shaikh would have spent his final hours.

He was executed by lethal injection, a move many in Britain described as a tragedy.

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