|Statement of the Spokesman of Chinese Embassy on the Case of Akmal Shaikh|
Akmal Shaikh was convicted and sentenced to death penalty for serious drug trafficking on solid evidence. In fact, 150mg of heroin of high degree of purity would be lethal. The amount of heroin he carried was 4030g, enough to cause 26800 deaths. According to Chinese law, 50g of heroin is the threshold for the application of the death penalty. Even in the UK, he would be punished severely for his crime.
Drug trafficking is a grave crime worldwide. China has the bitter memory of drug problems in history, and is still facing severe situations at this moment, which undermines the social stability. The general public has a deep-seated hatred toward it.
China has acceded to United Nations Conventions against Illicit Drug Trafficking. In order to combat drugs, China faithfully honors its obligations under the conventions and cracks down on drug-related crimes. All cases of drug trafficking are dealt with according to law, regardless of nationality. To apply death penalty to the serious drug trafficking is helpful to preempt and prevent the drug trafficking.
The concerns of the British side have been duly noted and taken into consideration by the Chinese judicial authorities in the legal process, and Mr. Shaikh's rights and interests under Chinese law are properly respected and guaranteed. UK consular officials visited Mr.Shaikh several times in prison and attended relevant trials.
We fully respect the UK and EU's decision to abolish the death penalty. However, half of the countries in the world still maintain the death penalty. And in China the conditions are not yet met for abolishing the death penalty. And the majority view in China is against such abolition.
Death penalty is applied in a cautious and strictly limited manner. Reforms were introduced to ensure that all death penalty cases are reviewed and approved by the Supreme People's Court. Such reforms will continue.
This case has been undergoing for more than two years, it is absurd to link it with the issue of Climate Change.