China Executes British Drug Smuggler
Akmal Shaikh, said to be mentally ill, dies by firing squad
By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 28, 2009 10:33 PM CST
This undated handout photo shows Akmal Shaikh, executed in China today for drug smuggling.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – Despite protests from the British government and human-rights activists worldwide, China today executed by firing squad a Briton convicted of smuggling drugs into the country. Supporters say Akmal Shaikh, 53, had bipolar disorder; the Foreign Office’s complaint centered on concerns China had not taken those issues into account in condemning him to death. Shaikh was caught with nearly 9 pounds of heroin, Chinese officials say, noting that possession of about 1.8 ounces is enough to incur the death penalty.