On Air: Should all drugs smugglers be executed?

China has defended the execution of British man Akmal Sheikh, the first European citizen to have been executed in over 50 years.

Despite  much global condemnation , China’s decision to stand it’s ground has also attracted praise – from outside China.

“Sorry not to join the liberal wailing: heroin traffickers deserve to die,” writes Leo McKinstry.
“My regret is not over tough action by Beijing, but the fact that we in this country do not possess the moral clarity or strength of purpose to deal ruthlessly with drug peddlers and other enemies of our society. The drug-fuelled, crime-ridden, welfare-dependent, fear-filled inner city housing estate in modern Britain is far more savage than any place of execution in China for a trafficker of human misery.”

China’s online community is coming out in  mass to support the move.

“River of Justice” writes at the popular Sina forum “Everyone is equal before the law. No matter who he is, a Chinese or a foreigner, the result is the death penalty when he commits such a crime.”

Another reader named “Du Yunqing” says “In the past, we weren’t able to kill a foreigner who commits a crime (on Chinese land) because you (British) got the consular jurisdiction using guns and cannons; Nowadays, you stop interfering on our own land where we have the right to do so.”

Chinasmack is worth a read – it has the latest on Chinese reaction – 99%  in favour of the court’s decision. Some BBC listeners also agree:

“I am sick of people wailing for mercy. If you get caught with drugs abroad expect the laws of that land. We have a problem here because we’re too soft” commented Lyn on the BBC 5live breakfast show.

And for many, Mr. Shaikh’s reported mental illness makes no difference.

Earlier this year a British woman was found to be carrying drugs in Laos. She was spared the death penalty because she was pregnant.  Do individual circumstances matter?

“Good riddance to a drug smuggler. Simple as that”, says BBC listener Owen in Wales.

Is it really that simple?

Is the best way to crack down on drug smuggling to bring in the death penalty? Or does the death penalty show a government’s weakness to confront difficult social issues?

260 Responses to “On Air: Should all drugs smugglers be executed?”

  1. 1 Ahmed Abdikadir, KENYA.
    December 29, 2009 at 11:43

    If the man did it intentionally, then he is to blame. But if the man was mentally ill and other people took advantage of that then the chinese are savages. I also wonder how different the situation would have been if the man was a non-muslim!

    • 2 Elaine
      December 29, 2009 at 19:40



      • 3 Frank
        December 29, 2009 at 23:25

        Elaine wrote: ‘Let the law have its course’. That’s a bit too easy, I think. Firstly one need to ask, what is the meaning of the law? Secondly, how do we use the law? You will notice that these answers are not so obvious as you might think. In a civilized society there are always circumstances to be considered when applying the law. For instance, how do we interprete ‘the’ law when we have to deal with mentally retarded persons? I don’t think you will disagree with me when I say that this makes a difference.


      • December 30, 2009 at 20:09

        Look inside your blouse Elaine and check what state your heart is in.Laws have to be temperred with consideration.

      • 5 Alexis Wolf
        January 1, 2010 at 14:41

        Would you feel the same if it was your child or parent who had been duped by a ‘good’ friend to carry a package for them? or would you be happy to take a lethal injection if someone had planted a package of drugs in your luggage?

    • 6 David
      January 3, 2010 at 18:10

      He was a non muslim a true believer woudn’t have anything to do with drugs

    • January 5, 2010 at 08:42

      what do you mean intenionally;everybody that smuggles does it intentionally;it’s just the ones that get caught saying ,I Know Nothing that claim that

  2. 8 wintergreen
    December 29, 2009 at 12:02

    Where is the story?
    Get caught smuggling drugs in China – face execution. Simple.
    As for the “mental illness” defence, what a croc. Did anybody for one moment believe they would let him off because he was a bit depressed?
    It may seem harsh to some people but that is the law in China.
    Maybe he should have smuggled the drugs into Britain, then he could claim human rights or better still refuse to deal with our legal system and opt for a sharia court instead. Maybe the sharia court would have found him not guilty and given him compensation because he was feeling a bit down.

    • 9 LisaNa
      December 29, 2009 at 19:50

      Thank goodness for the one gentleman who expressed some common sense regarding Tabacco and Alcohol. For too long there are those who think Death and Murder are the solution for everything. Mental Illness is a real disease! Bi-polar disorder DOES impact your judgement! In addition; could his NAME play into why so many people are being indifferent to his murder? I am disheartened at the state of Humanity and our inability to evolve into compassionate beings. Education, Prevention, Treatment and then Criminal Incarceration!

      Shame on the indifferent death mongers!

    • December 30, 2009 at 20:14

      Look inside your head Whitergreen You do yourself an injustice. Bi Polar Desease has nothing to do with depression. Go to Yahoo and type in Bi polar desease.You will learn something.

  3. 11 Nigel
    December 29, 2009 at 12:11

    No one deserves to die either by criminal means or legal. However Chinese law disagrees and if this guy was found guily he has to pay the penalty. The view that he was hoodwinked in to carrying the drugs applies to most mules and in his case the fact that he was able to make this long cumbersome trip to China scotches any defence based on diminished mental capacity. Big sympathies to his family and freinds who will continue to suffer after he has found peace.

  4. 12 Roberto
    December 29, 2009 at 12:12

    RE “” Simple as that”, says BBC listener Owen in Wales. “”

    ————- I suspect Owen has simple bi-polar summations of every issue and votes for the status quo that has made a mess of modern democracy.

    If these drugs were legal, there would be little if any smuggling, and portions of Afghanistan, Mexico, southern US border, Central America, and South America wouldn’t be run by drug cartels.

    At very least the west could buy these poppy, coca, and marijuana crops cheaper than they could trying to intercept hundreds of thousands of smuggled shipments like packs of storm troopers.

    At any rate, China is gonna do what it wants and has no reason to kowtow to the wishes of the west unless it’s in their best interests. Coddled westerners best get used to the idea they are no longer eligible for soft kid gloved treatments in these areas.

  5. 13 Mike Jackson
    December 29, 2009 at 12:28

    I’m sorry but if a man can be executed for being duped into carrying drugs and people say he deserves it does that also mean that those who choose to take drugs and become addicts or die from them – including children and teenagers – also deserve to die ?
    The death penalty is always wrong as is war . All is murder.

    • 14 James Ian
      December 31, 2009 at 10:27

      Who’s to blame for the kids who are duped into taking drugs and die from it?
      Maybe the people who make, sell and deliver it?
      Sometime you have to take a life to save a life.

    • 15 Tony
      January 1, 2010 at 12:48

      They should introduce the death penalty here in the UK as well for drug smugglers and drug dealers – they cause the death of hundreds of drug users.

    December 29, 2009 at 12:30

    Why is it that now we have so many mentally ill people committing crimes in short span of time? Burlesconi assault, Assault on the Pope, the would be American Airline Jet Bomber; this is the latest such claim.
    Drug dealers should confine their trade in their own territories if lenience is observed there. This is an attempt to harm another society using drugs. Abuse of drugs should not be treated softly; it is harmful and the law should be applied without favorism.

    If the Chinese have executed their own for the same crime, it means they are serious and an outsider is no exception.

  7. 17 Mohammed Ali
    December 29, 2009 at 13:25

    Drugs dealers destroy the lives and features of many people. we shouldn’t be crying foul when of them (drug dealers) is executed. hhe violated the laws of china nad got the punishment for it. When I was in Shanghai, a Governor was executed for corruption. law breakers should be punished. simple

  8. 18 patti in cape coral
    December 29, 2009 at 13:45

    I don’t support the death penalty, but in general I would say that you have to obey the laws of the country you are in. It was said that he was mentally ill. At first, I thought this was a desperate plea from the family, who understandably will say anything to help their loved one. Then they played a song that Akmal Sheikh recorded which he thought would bring world peace, something about bunnies. I would say he had to be mentally ill.

    • December 30, 2009 at 20:39

      Chinese diplomats in London have told Britain to stay out of Chinese affairs and they went on to say that this was an assertion of their new power in the world
      and made reference to be some type of revenge for the humiliation they suffered in 1885 during the opium wars.That man they executed was never seen by a psychiatrist and the court hearing lasted an half hour.It is considered by reasonable and inteligent people that this was also due to the anger the Chinese Government felt because the British Foreign Secretary had the audacity to say they were mainly responsible for sabotaging the Copenhagen Climate Change Aggreement. If this be true then China will suffer along with the rest of us if China becomes a desert or a flood plain or more.

  9. 20 piscator
    December 29, 2009 at 13:51

    It could be a bit hypocritical of Brits to lecture the Chinese about drugs, seeing as we fought wars in China for the right to push opium there.

    I don’t know if it is just a legend that Mao cleaned up the European drug legacy in China in 24hours by saying that the next addict he found would be shot. That is part of the problem here. There is no certainty in the law. You can blatantly commit the most serious offences with a better than evens chance of not even being charged.

    Drug smuggling is a life threatening and murderous offence, and thus needs the harshest penalties. I don’t believe in the death penalty, because it only demonstrates that there is nothing wrong with murder, just who does it, but a very long gaol sentence would be appropriate.

    • 21 Cliff
      December 29, 2009 at 22:28

      I agree, the death penalty is unacceptable. But more so in China, where despite what the Chinese say, the judiciary is controlled by the Communist Party. Our Minister’s condemnation is disingenuous. The Department for International Development gives the Chinese government millions of pounds of British taxpayers’ money (in the guise of grants for health reform and education reform projects) to curry a little influence with the Chinese. But when it comes to a relatively small favour in return, humane treatment for a UK citizen, the Chinese simply thumb their noses at us!

    • December 30, 2009 at 21:05

      During the Eightenn hundreds Opium was a legal drug and medicine.In fact In 1982 I was grateful for one of its derivatives when I was passing stones from my kidneys.But I wouldnt recommend it as a drug to be taken without medical supervision.
      Now for the most important question of all.What is going on in the minds of people that causes them to take highly habit forming drugs in the first place.The medical fraternity know most of the answers but the politiciams choose to ignore them. Our present bunch of Q.C.’s who gravitate towards Parliament have no training outside the law.So all they can think of is giving the courts more power to punish rather than taking th early education route.Most people who take habit forming drugs start taking those drugs because they are ill.

  10. December 29, 2009 at 13:57

    No, two wrongs never make one right, death penalty is opposed to Christianity . It is a legalized murder and as a Christian, I don’t support the death penalty. Instead of curing effect, all countries should address the root cause of what makes people to become drug smugglers. Otherwise, death penalty is bad and unacceptable.

    Juol Nhomngek, Kampala Uganda

    • 24 wintergreen
      December 29, 2009 at 14:10

      I dont support the death penalty either but then I dont live in China where they do.
      If somebody there is found guilty of drug trafficking then they may face execution – their laws not mine.
      Whether you agree with the law or not you must respect it.

    • 25 alan loughlin
      December 29, 2009 at 15:00

      my view would be always the opposite to the christian view, christianity has done more harm in this world than any amount of drug smugglers who i detest,and believe we need to be as tough on them as china is. christianity means to me paedophile priests, bigotry, intolerance, and violence, our local town was witness to 2 children murdered by christians in the form of the IRA, christians nonetheless, and what about all the coverups, bribery etc in the name of christianity as high up as the pope, to cover up all the thousands of known cases of child abuse over decades, the answer to a better world is atheism, secularism, or humanism, whichever you prefer, all are better than any form of religion.

      • 26 Saut
        December 29, 2009 at 18:45

        alan loughlin,
        Are we on the same planet? You mean atheists are not paedophiles, murderers, child abusers and “cover-uppers” at all!

    • December 30, 2009 at 21:10

      More importent Juol what causes people to become addicts in the first place. Without a market there would be suppliers.

    • 28 Susan
      December 31, 2009 at 16:53

      I couldn’t support your more. Though I am a Chinese, I don’t support death penalty, even all ofthe laws. I think all the laws of the world should be considered, as you said, we should address the root cause of what makes people to do sinister. Sometimes they are also victims in something and are compelled to do so!

      I hate politics…

      Susan, Chengdu China

  11. 29 Henry Nyakoojo, Kampala
    December 29, 2009 at 14:02

    When I travel to a foreign country, I go knowing that if I transgress, I am subject to the laws of that country. Drug smuggling is a crime in most if not all countries and if one is caught, he/she faces the music as per the laws there. It matters not at all that such laws and attendant sentences on conviction may be different from what they are in my own country. So this outcry by some people, including apparently Gordon Brown is unjustified and a waste of time.

    I agree with those Chinese who say that Britain cannot now charge into Beijing and exert diplomatic and other pressures to get out a convicted criminal as they might have done a few years back. Alas. they still do pressure African governments into surrendering criminals, often even before the courts have had the opportunity to try them. Will the day come when Africa can withstand such pressure?

  12. 30 Ivan Mark Radhakrishnan
    December 29, 2009 at 14:35

    Stop bashing the Chinese – execution for drug offences is their law (the also executed some of those found guilty in the milk scandal, but of course they were not foreigners so it did not seem to matter).

    Now, go and find the drug dealers who supposedly set-up Akmal Shaik (they too should be shot). It is a sick human trait to always trash the ‘easiest link’ and conveniently avoid the actual criminal.

    Mental illness is, has and will be used and abused by crooked ‘lawyers’ to make a quick buck. Anybody going to beat up Shaik’s ‘lawyers’ for him being executed?

  13. 31 Frank in the USA
    December 29, 2009 at 14:42

    Kudos to China for having the fortitude to defend her people and culture from the insidious influences of illegal drugs, and to Leo McKinstry for having the courage to speak the truth rather than inject us with the usual “politically correct” dribble the media pushes on us.

    Drug smugglers and pushers are themselves executioners–they kill individuals and they kill societies. The death of each smuggler saves hundreds or thousands of lives. Their execution is moral, ethical, and sane.

  14. 32 Harrison Picot
    December 29, 2009 at 14:48

    It is more humane and costs a lot less to treat drug problems as an illness. The suppliers of drugs almost always deliver a product that adulterated with compounds (often filth) that cause more injury than the drugs. We should do at least three things, each of which has a benefit to us:

    1. Make sure children have people to look up to who will advise them that you can be happy without drugs. This would often happen if parents had job where they were respected and and earned enough to live in decent conditions.

    2. Treat people who are ill, and addiction is an illness, with whatever works, including more drugs from a clean source if that is a doctors advice.

    3. Accept the fact that some people will not recover from drugs for 15 or 20 years, but it is less expensive to give them clean, inexpensive drugs and encourage them to work, than it is to have them sick and stealing.

    And one more, dealing with drug dealers: First offense and a small amount of drugs and no weapons, 4 years on a work farm followed by deportation to any country that will take you. Second offense: What, back again? 8 years on a work farm if no weapons were involved, prison if they were. Third offense 16 years on work farm if you are not dangerous, and prison if we are afraid of you.

    General rule: work farms for people we are not afraid of, jail only for those we are afraid of. Let’s punish them not the taxpayers.

    FAQ: what happens if people run off from a work farm?
    Ans: If they hide out and never get in trouble again, who cares? Isn’t that what we wanted? If they run off and commit another crime and get caught, they start their sentence all over in jail, with any additional time added on.

  15. 33 Togo Kasoro
    December 29, 2009 at 15:02

    Everybody is busy ,including the UK govt in begging mercy , but nobody cares about the thousands affected by the drug and arms trade. In AFRICA hundreds are dying every 3 months because of drugs abuse and the fighting with ‘SO CALLED REBELS’
    Let this Briton be a lesson to all and sundry to avoid anything to do with drugs.

  16. 34 Kelly from Chicago
    December 29, 2009 at 15:05

    It’s a difficult question. Drug dealers are not easy to empathize with due to the destructive substances they peddle, whether people are duped into it or not. However, drug dealers are probably not the real issue here. They’re capitalizing on our global society’s need to escape really tragic conditions, either from the atrocities of abject poverty in third world, war-torn countries or from the lack of self-acceptance and awareness and community support in first world countries.

    Capitalizing on the suffering of others (or the planet) is fairly standard business practice world-wide. Why should only drug dealers be executed, if we go that route? So no, drug dealers should not be executed. However, I agree with others in that if you break the law, you must face lawful punishment.

    • 35 Marty from Chicago
      January 6, 2010 at 09:29

      Kelly, Chicago would be a much more civilized place if people who import this cancer were given the death penalty. I doubt you are held hostage in your house or are afraid to send your kid to the store for a bag of hot chips because of the violence of street level narcotic trade. I think the harshest punishment should be reserved for those that bring it in. I live in Chicago.

  17. 36 anita
    December 29, 2009 at 15:08

    we shouldn’t kill people

  18. 38 KevinPE
    December 29, 2009 at 15:12

    Whether or not one shoots or imprisons the “little” middleman it hardly affects the business model. In fact it actually serves to improve the profits as the price/risk/supply/demand factors are inflated. There is always an endless supply of expendable dealers/bagmen. Furthermore, there is probably no independently verified data in China that gives the number of drug users or the amount in kilograms in circulation. Indeed without these statistics, shooting the little guys may well just be a means of eliminating the competition, while maintaining the overall supply. Of course it also serves as a serious deterrent to the population at large – which is probably a good thing. Everybody knows that the global drug market is in the hundreds of $Billions and the people in charge fly around in private jets; they do not hang around street corners and they are certainly never shot by anybody except their rivals.

  19. 39 leti in palma
    December 29, 2009 at 15:12

    oh my god…we are going to start up again about the appalling lack of human rights awareness in china?
    This poor man was obviously off his rocker…WHO in his right mind would even think about smuggling 4 kgs of heroin to Xurumqi? I mean, did Akmal even know where he was going?
    I feel sick to my gut when I read some of the fascist/racist and thoroughly ignorant comments on the facebook support page, the Mail (why am i surprised?) and other organs of british bigotry and spleen…but folks, lets get real: The problem is the total NO TOLERANCE to drugs approach of the chinese government.

    And the heroin deal was no BIG deal….if the total heroin produced and consumed on the planet were added up, 4 kgs wouldn’t even feel like a bag of sherbets.
    NO to paying for ones sins by being killed….the death penalty is NOT a solution.

  20. 40 Kate M.
    December 29, 2009 at 15:23

    I don’t think executions will stop drug smuggling . People will do anything for quick money and that includes risking their lives. I don’t have any idea as to what, if anything, will stop it.

    • 41 Adam J.C. - US
      December 29, 2009 at 17:07

      in the US studies have proven that the death penalty is not a deterrent to crime, and getting into the line of work of drug smuggling is dangerous enough as it is. plus here in the US it is more costly to execute someone than to house them in prison for life, now i am not familiar with the Chinese justice system, or lack thereof, but regardless the monetary cost it ethically does not make sense. an eye for an eye is no deterrent and is so archaic its ludicrous.

  21. 42 t
    December 29, 2009 at 15:24

    It’s easy from the comfort of your home to read this and say, good for China! Kill all drug sumgglers!

    Take this a step further. If you really believe this is the right move, would you also kill all smugglers in the U.K. as well? Would you spend endless hours campaigning for free and possibly being hung up on and laughed at by various politicians, MSM people and others?

    Activism is endless, thankless and incredibly hard work. And, what if an innocent person is killed?

  22. 43 Ronald Ng
    December 29, 2009 at 15:24

    There are two issues here. First, is judicial killing ever justified? And even if the answer to that first question is in the affirmative, there is still this second question: “How certain can one be that drugs found in a person’s luggage shows that that person is a drug smuggler? Couldn’t it have been planted on him?” I know of people who are so scared of this that they NEVER travel with check-in luggage being paranoid that someone would plant something illegal in their check-in lucgage.

    Despite all the warnings of not carrying packages for unknown strangers, there are still stupid and trusting individuals who will do it for someone they barely know, not knowing what
    s in the package. All we are doing is execute the small time “mules” leaving the big fish to continue their operations.

    I don’t pretend to know the answer on how to deal with drug smuggling, but the moral issues about executing people, with the possibiity of executing even the right person, makes it hazardous to agree that executing “drug smugglers” is the answer to control of use of illicit drug in society.

    • 44 oscar
      December 29, 2009 at 21:07

      This reminds me of something I did a couple of months ago. I had a new friend in my hometown who had just arrived from Mexico city, where he used to live. When he knew I was going to travel to mexico city, he asked me to bring him back a big stereo he had left down there at his sister’s. I met his sister at the bus station before catching the bus going back to my hometow. According to the box, it was the stereo. Hours later, we stopped in a military checkpoint. All passengers went out, and some soldiers began to check everybody else’s luggage. But my big box wasn´t opened. Suddenly, a big rottweiler dog approached and started smelling it and I finally realized that I was in serious trouble. What if…?, and what if..? , but after a looooong minute the dog went away. However, I will never forget that lesson. I wonder: How many other guys have not been as lucky, and have ended up in jail, or worse, just for being stupid, or rather naïve, ingenuous? And some people just say, “Yeah, just kill him and thus drugs will not harm our boys¡ “

  23. 45 Chintan in Houston
    December 29, 2009 at 15:24

    Was the man was guilty: Yes

    Was he given fair trail: No (the trail lasted only 30 minutes, haven’t read anything about him admitting to his crimes but it is possible)

    Was the punishment justified: Yes (every country has different laws)

    Mental illness claims by family: None was ever documented (Those are bogus claims, he had been a career thug)

    Do we need to give death penalties to drug traffickers: It should be an option, after all they murder people indirectly and destroy families.

    But, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong” – Mahatma Gandhi

    My opinion: A mental exmination, a fair trail, followed by a tougher sentence rather than execution.

  24. December 29, 2009 at 15:24

    A simple question, but unfortunately it will receive very simple answers that can generally be very dangerous.

    When it comes to executing anyone, the evidence must be absolutely infallible in proving guilt beyond doubt, and all mitigating circumstances must be openly revealed.

    The U.K. has never achieved perfection and quite often evidence of innocence has been blatantly ignored, just off the cuff we have Derek Bentley and Stefan Kisco, then the diabolical conviction of Sally Clark based on lies and twisted statistics. Derek Bentley was hanged for the murder of a policeman when the whole world knows quite well that the lad was actually in handcuffs under arrest at the time, and that Christopher Craig was the killer.

    Bentley had been taken to the crime scene to talk Craig into surrendering, and the words “Give it to him Chris,” meant give him the gun, but a deliberate twist in the evidence changed the meaning completely.

    With a record of injustice like ours, any stones thrown at other countries will obviously bounce back to the arm that threw it.

    • 47 Marty Philbin
      January 6, 2010 at 09:43

      Those are very different comparisons. I understand what your saying but don’t agree. When you fly into some countries and the customs paperwork say “drug smuggling is punishable by DEATH” I think your taking a high stakes gamble. All crime is based on a gamble. I think this guy just lost.

  25. 48 John in Salem
    December 29, 2009 at 15:27

    Executing drug smugglers has the exact opposite affect you intend because you’re simply validating the rationale for smuggling – that human life is worthless anyway so why not cash in.
    And as a deterrent it is equally pointless – as long as there are people who feel they have nothing to lose there will be users, dealers and smugglers.
    You can’t end this cycle of misery by just killing people. Execution only perpetuates it.

  26. 49 Ronald Almeida
    December 29, 2009 at 15:35

    The whole human attitude to drugs and the death penalty only exibits how barbaric we really are. I am sure there is more behind the scenes of this incident than shows on the surface. For example this could happen just as much in the U.S. as in China. Is it China’s way to show sympathy with the U.S. . I may be completely barking up the wrong tree with my opinion, but one never knows.

  27. December 29, 2009 at 15:38

    I am a final yr. medical student at Baghdad Medical School and I took a psychiatry clinical rotation last year… From what I have learnt during that rotation, if you suffer from Type 1 bipolar disorder with poor compliance to treatment (that’s mood stablising agents like Lithium and Sodium Valproate) then your judgement and ability to differentiate between right and wrong will be significantly impaired and that’s why you shouldn’t be held responsible for your actions… Now Mr Sheikh had bipolar disorder, which type did he have and was he compliant to treatment or not that I don’t know… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  28. 51 Oshilaja Dayo
    December 29, 2009 at 15:46

    I like how the Chinese government stood it’s ground concerning this issue and i wish african government would learn from this.

  29. 52 tope
    December 29, 2009 at 15:59

    if this had happened in a western country, it would have been said that the man was persecuted because he was a muslim. now nobody is talking because it’s china. the west should begin to consider taking very tough actions against drug-pushers as they ebd up destroying the citizens!

    • 53 Steve in Montana
      December 29, 2009 at 17:21

      Perspectives like this contribute to the overpopulation of prisons, the inability to rehabilitate drug offenders and over-spending on federal penitentiaries. shame.

  30. 54 Andrew in Australia
    December 29, 2009 at 16:04

    Before anyone answers this question let us review what drugs do for society. They destroy lives, not just those of the users once they make their decision to actively use them, but the lives of their families, friends and loved ones. They place an extra burden on health services and take away from those who have lived honest, decent lives and miss out as a result of the selfishness of others. They create crime and other social problems for people who just want to live their lives quietly and without being affected by the greed and selfishness of others. And so it goes. Drugs destroy lives and society on virtually all levels. As for this person, he made a choice, maybe a bad one, but made his choice. We all have problems but when and where shall we draw the line and absolve criminals of their responsibilities when they gamble on making money off the misery of others.

  31. 55 Andrew in Australia
    December 29, 2009 at 16:05

    I know where Australia stands on this issue, we make media darlings of them all and pat them on the back when we manage to liberate them from serving their sentences overseas.

  32. 56 Tony from Singapura
    December 29, 2009 at 16:06

    In a reasonable country, the mental state of the defendant would have been assessed and taken into consideration, however since China has no proper legal infrastructure , its goodbye – nothing you can do about it.

    Just dont go there – go to India instead, they have a proper legal system.

  33. 57 Gary Paudler
    December 29, 2009 at 16:15

    A lot of this discussion has focussed on Mr. Shaikh accepting responsibility for his actions, but nobody seems to demand personal responsibility from drug users. In Afghanistan and Colombia and Mexico billions of dollars have been spent on futile attempts to stem the supply of drugs while demand, worldwide, goes largely unaddressed. If you ask a drug mule to accept the consequences of his actions, how can it be that he is, and not the users who are, responsible for the misery that drugs have wrought on the users lives?
    We love the death penalty here in the US, woe to the politician who openly wants to join the rest of the civilized world by ending executions by the government. There have been many executions carried out in the US of convicts who were later found to have been innocent or wrongfully prosecuted – we get it wrong, so do the Chinese. The same people who express great distrust of government systems happily accept the fallibility inherent in an institution that presumes to judge a person for the single worst act of their life and take their life on behalf of the state.
    Here in The Land of the Free we have the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world and, by far, the highest number in prison or on probation; 7.3 million convicts versus only 1.5 million in China, that bastion of liberty and forbearance. Can we not imagine that we are doing something wrong?

    • 58 leti in palma
      December 29, 2009 at 18:13

      that bastion of liberty and forbearance as you put it…has only 1.5 million in jail because they execute all the rest..

  34. 59 joe
    December 29, 2009 at 16:31

    Drugs destroyed the fabric of families then societies & countries.
    When 1 got caught he claimed ‘mental disable’ or…..????
    but is intelligent enough to purchase air tickets and boarded airplanes.
    Families should not have let him travel in the first place,if he is of ‘unsound mind’.
    How many was not caught??. How many lives etc these drugs destroyed in China?.
    Or other parts of the world??.
    How Barbaric is it??
    Remember the Opium War???
    My sympathy is with the family. I am so very sorry. But…..
    For 1 death (drug pusher) in China it will save Thousands!!!!.
    So better keep your drugs for your own people.

  35. 60 Linda from Italy
    December 29, 2009 at 16:31

    Q. Should they be executed? A. No.
    1) No country worth its human rights credentials should permit legally sanctioned, cold-blooded murder.
    2) If someone is mentally ill and unable to make rational decisions, s/he cannot be guilty of any crime regardless of its penalty.
    3) Why drug smugglers? Because certain drugs are deemed “illegal” and that is what has spawned this vast criminal industry.

    This has nothing to do with China vs “the West”, I consider the US equally uncivilised because of point 1. Point 2) does indeed reflect different societal values but not necessarily E vs W.
    Point 3) is the truly universal question, the “War on Drugs” has only fuelled organised crime and brought misery to people already suffering from a medical condition because they are driven underground and into the hands of the profiteers.

  36. December 29, 2009 at 16:48

    By executing the drug smuggler, the Chinese have clearly shown zeo tolerance. Capital punishment in this day and age is barbaric. There are so many ways to punish a person for a crime. It is very important to establish the mental state of the person as well before condemning the individual to death.

  37. 62 Linda from Italy
    December 29, 2009 at 16:49

    To all of you claiming that the death of one drug smuggler will save thousands of lives, please consider this.
    One alleged smuggler is dead and gone, there are plenty more out there to take his place, this will do absolutely nothing to solve the problem and the organised crime bosses will not lose one cent or a minute’s sleep.
    In most countries problem users of certain drugs can’t get proper treatment (cold turkey or nothing) or regulated supplies so they are forced into dealing with the gangsters, paying inflated prices to feed their habit and in turn often themselves forced into crime or the sort of social degradation that is not caused by their condition per se, but by the lengths they have to go to sustain it. Taking some banned drugs is quite controllable and anything but an addiction.
    Most of those who work in the lower echelons of this industry do so out of desperation, as with most criminal enterprise, but if drugs were decriminalised it would hit the real movers and shakers where it hurts. Addiction is a medical condition, but some arbitrary rules label one addiction illegal/criminal and another just “unfortunate”, prohibition has never worked for alcohol, why on earth should it work for anything else? The crime associated with drug taking is caused by the prohibition rather than the substance.

      December 29, 2009 at 17:24

      @ Linda
      Its true its only one link in a long chain that has been snapped. The Chinese won’t relent and the message is clearly sent to the would be foolish enough to try it. This is the law in China and I hope the don’t go lax on it.
      Drugs is trouble enough in my country and I can only blame it on the laxity of law enforcers. Death penalty works else we would be having everyone resorting to murder every day. We know we have killers in my country because they have done it when there is mass hysteria in form of genocide.

      • 64 patti in cape coral
        December 29, 2009 at 17:38

        Can’t speak for anywhere else, but generally states in the US with no capital punishment actually have lower murder rates than the states who pracice the death penalty.

      • 65 Tom K in Mpls
        December 31, 2009 at 16:04

        But the question there is, which is the cause, and which is the effect? Why have the citizens chosen to keep the laws?

    • 66 chaoming
      December 31, 2009 at 02:46

      “One alleged smuggler is dead and gone, there are plenty more out there to take his place”???

      A brand new idea for a barbaric people from china. So I must keep at least one bug biting me to prevent more bugs from coming……. 🙂

      Actually in china we see: one smuggler excuted, at least one smuggler less, and it set a model for others who want to make “easy money”. Maybe it is different in italy, while, you have your way to keep your country healty and prosper, we have ours.

  38. 67 Davies Nkausu
    December 29, 2009 at 16:53

    My heartfelt condolences to Mr. Akmal Shaikh’s family on the death of their belove one. it does not matter whether on had bipolar sickness or otherwise he was still part of the family and I believe they loved him dearly.

    To the Chinese government if they think China is too big to heed pleas from the British government then they are living in a world of their own. let them realise that most of the Chinese nationals are found all over the world and though disguising as investors are in actual sense involved in illegal activities. In Zambia for instance many Chinese nationals have been nabbed over serious criminal activities (one only need to go to the archives of the daily newspapers to prove this) but they are never executed. Why should China defy all pleas to spare this man’s life go unheeded? why didn’t they propose jailing the man in Britain if punishment was their motive? Shame on you for the blood of this man will continue to be on your heads. You have indeed eliminated him and surely you have succeeded but you have not won the war against drug trafficking. Deal with your own nationals who were the altmate consumers of the same drugs.

  39. 68 Alan in Arizona
    December 29, 2009 at 16:54

    Death for smuggling? NO!

    If the person is mentally ill! Double NO!

    Death only for Killing Another! Unless it was justified or in self-defense.

    Stick to a justifiable punishment that fits into the world norm.

    In reality China should just stop the executions and the organ harvesting for profit.

  40. 69 ESCe
    December 29, 2009 at 16:58

    In singapore a mentally retarded youth was caned for putting his hands underneath a girl ‘s skirt. It will be the death penalty for possessing 100 grams of heroin. All claimed they did.nt know its there. They are all executed or waiting to be. Someone asked me if I could help him by carrying his baggage as he exceeded his excess baggage. No! Short and simple.

  41. 70 Andrew in Australia
    December 29, 2009 at 17:07

    On the issue of mental health, one could therefore claim that ultimately anyone who is intending to cimmit a crime must in some way have impaired judgement or suffer a mental illness to deviate from the norm and break the law. This is not the case as many able people break laws and many disabled people do not. That excuse is insulting to many who suffer mental problems and get on with their lives.

  42. December 29, 2009 at 17:22

    Some of these executed people are not the real offenders, they are being duped to carry what they have no knoledge on. Generally speaking, lets look into death penalties at large, I am not in support of death penalties, for only the poor masses majority suffer from it.I hate death penalty !!!

  43. 72 bob in bismark
    December 29, 2009 at 17:23

    President Bush told me that drugs fuel terrorism. I don’t like terrorism. Kill drug dealers. mmmmmm….brains…

  44. 73 Farooq Ali
    December 29, 2009 at 17:25

    Oh yes! It is very right to say that all drugs smugglers should be executed because they are playing with the lives of innocent people and earning a big price against the lives of the people. Suppose if anyone drinks or smokes then he is ruining his own life but in this case, drug user also effects his family as well as social system too. So i Vote for a drugs free Society and it will only possible when only one drugs smuggler would be executed.

  45. 74 patti in cape coral
    December 29, 2009 at 17:28

    I don’t think that there can be any doubt that mentally ill/disabled persons can be more easily manipulated than those who do not have a mental disability. Of course care must be taken to determine if this is the case… oh wait, it’s too late for that. Oh well, let God sort them out, right?

  46. 75 t
    December 29, 2009 at 17:36

    In China (and other Asian countries), mental illness is still a taboo subject.

    But the same can also be said in other places. In the States, there are many therapists, doctors and others who still say that PTSD is a sham. Many therapists in the military say it’s a just a dodge to get out of serving. Many insurance firms say that this is a “pre-existing” condition.

    What do you do when you genuinely need help and nobody listens to you?

  47. 76 Francisco from Spain
    December 29, 2009 at 17:38

    I think drug smuggling is related to the temptation to make easy and fast money, in this difficult times there are many people who needs money desperately. I think it’s quite wrong apply the death penalty to this kind of people in some cases, mass murders and pedophiles for example deserves much more this punishment than drug smugglers who the only crime they commit in many cases is the temptation to make easy money, who has never been temptated to do it sometime?
    After spending some time in jail, drug smugglers may rebuilt their life.. but killing them is not the right solution.

  48. 77 JanB
    December 29, 2009 at 17:41

    We don’t know how much heroin this man smuggled or whether he knew it was in his luggage (thousands of “smugglers” are framed every year), so calling for the death penalty seems a bit excessive to me.

    But if we’re going to execute after all, why don’t we execute the drug users? After all they are the source of the problem… then again, that would be too close to home wouldn’t it, executing your own spoiled teens, no it’s far easier to execute some foreign devil.

  49. 78 Touqeer Chishty (Pakistan)
    December 29, 2009 at 17:43

    Yes………… those who smuggle or deliver drugs, don’t have the right to live….. because ov them many people lose their lives. But having said that before executing the authorities should investigate the case and there should be trial and if the person found guilty he should be hanged. To take drugs is a crime but to sell it among the youth can’t be forgiven. Governments should also try to aware the youth of the country about danger of using drugs so that people won’t get into this bad habit

  50. 79 t
    December 29, 2009 at 17:48

    In theory, this may sound good. But the ulgy reality is that most people don’t want to deal with the consequences of this.

    If you really want this, then publically televise every execution in prime time on all networks. If it’s the law, then why not show the law being carried out?

    Because many network standards say that we can’t show dead civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. That’s too “upsetting” for the viewers at home. It’s national policy being paid for by your tax dollars. Yet, you can’t be bothered to see the results of it?

    So to all those who support executions, it’s a nice pipe dream. But it will never happen.

  51. 80 Robin C
    December 29, 2009 at 17:50

    Really, I’m not surprised by the Chinese reaction – you have to be human to understand.

  52. 81 David Coen
    December 29, 2009 at 17:51

    My friend is bi-polar and over time he becomes a drug addict. I have sympathy for drug addict trying to overcome addictions, they are victim of a disease. But bi- polar is not an excuse for him to become an addict, people with bi-polar can make sound judgment and know right from wrong.
    On drug dealers, I think they should be punished severely, the successful smuggling of the kg of heroine into China will profit him millions. The thug needs to be put to death. In this case justice is served in my opinion.

    • 82 Linda from Italy
      December 29, 2009 at 17:59

      Sorry David,
      I don’t think the smuggler would have made millions, far from it………smugglers/ mules/ street pedlars are just the pawns

  53. 83 Stephen
    December 29, 2009 at 17:54

    Western civilization started going downhill when people stopped being held accountable for their actions.

  54. 84 Mark from Germany
    December 29, 2009 at 17:57

    The “bleeding-heart Liberals” who have posted here make me sick!

    The british Service-men and -women serving around the world have to follow three sets of Law. English Law, Military Law and the Laws of the land in which they are serving.
    The british government will not protect a soldier who trangresses against the third one of them because ignorance of the law is no defence. There are enough known/documented cases of soldiers being handed over to the local authorities for punishment according to the laws of the land.

    This person was a convicted drug trafficker caught in a land known for executing his sort. Do you expect me to have sympathy for him?
    If you are going to do the crime, then expect to have to pay the time!

    And if you want to ask what gives me the right to post the above comment.

    Both Grandfathers served in World War 2.
    My father served 22 years in the Brish Army with LS&GC medal.
    I served 22 years in the Britsh Army with LS&GC medal.
    My younger brother served 22 years in the Britsh Army with LS&GC medal.
    My younger sister has served 20 years in the Britsh Army and holds the LS&GC medal.

    Bring back the death penalty in the UK.
    Even if you cannot agree that it will act as a deterrant, you cannot argue that it will not prevent them from offending again.

    • 85 John
      December 29, 2009 at 18:14

      What’s your family’s military history got to do with the death penalty. My family have a long record of military service in the British armed forces. But they all knew what they were signing up for.

  55. 86 James
    December 29, 2009 at 17:57

    The same rights we have given ourselves to execute criminals in this country so does China. Don’t do a crime in another country, it just might get you executed! I think most Americans are upset not because he was executed, but that China didn’t drag it out for 15 years. Being the Hippocrates that we are, Americans think because we act like it’s the last thing in the world we every really want to do, execute a human being, and drag it out for 15 years, that somehow we are different from China. When I fact we are far closer to China and the rest of the world we spend so much time trying to crush under our feet at the same time we have a hand out stretched in friendship! The rest of the world knows us, that’s why every little country with a little back bone thumbs their noeses at us when ever they get a chance!!!!!! We keep pretending like we just can’t imagine why they don’t like us!!!!!!!! WE HAVE LOST THE MORAL HIGH GROUND AND THE WORLD KNOWS IT!

  56. 87 John
    December 29, 2009 at 17:58

    It’s all very well to have the death sentence for convicted drug smugglers, but what about the drug bosses who send them.

    It makes no difference how many smugglers are executed there will always be others willing to take the chance for money. And what about those who are forced to smuggle drugs is it right that these people die.

    The Chinese were wrong to kill this man its claimed he was mentally ill but who’s going to stand up to them. After all he was only a normal person not a celebrity.

  57. 88 abdiasis mohamed
    December 29, 2009 at 18:02

    Hello all

    This excution may relate to something else. this could be political issue, china may view the guy having connection with Taiwan island muslims, since his name sounds to be a muslim. they may have assumed that he was helping the taiwanese and the agenda of using drugs is to provoke the rest of the other world that condemed this. hundreds of drug dealers are caught every day from diffrent parts of the world and no one excutes them. China ingores the rest of the world all the time on many issues and always puts its agenda first.

  58. December 29, 2009 at 18:02

    Badly worded question; too black & white.

  59. 90 jens
    December 29, 2009 at 18:05

    mark from germany,

    so your families military history gives you the right to judge the execution of a human being as right or wrong. i truely do not see the connection between one or the other

  60. December 29, 2009 at 18:09

    We could easily stay on this post for at least a fortnight if we were to go around all the countries that carry a death penalty.The only thing that I can say about it is that,Akmal Sheikh,won’t be smuggling any more drugs.Is that good or bad?

  61. 92 Mike in Seattle
    December 29, 2009 at 18:10

    “Whether you agree with the law or not you must respect it.”

    I see this again and again from posters, and I disagree completely. We do not agree that people’s hands should be cut off if they steal nor do we agree that women should be stoned to death for being accused of witchcraft.

    There are punishments that go too far, and the killing of a mentally disabled man is certainly one of them.

  62. 93 archibald in Oregon
    December 29, 2009 at 18:12

    It would be hard to quantify the number of governments worldwide who have not profited from the traffic of illegal drugs. Thus, capital punishment for drug distribution or possession is a hypocrisy in the extreme. There are many substances that fall under the term “drugs”. Alcohol ruins as many lives, worldwide, as Heroin or Opium, yet it is legal. Drugs users ruin their lives by seeking out the instruments of their own destruction. If there was no market for drugs, then the sellers would be out of work, thus, eliminating the problem. Alas, the world of imperialism would be out of commission without all of the dollars generated by illegal drug traffic and insurgencies would never get off the ground. As usual, it is the individual who suffers for the double standard of those who make up so called laws.
    All that said, anyone who willingly traffics in drugs within countries enforcing death penalties is either suicidal or mentally ill.

  63. 94 patti in cape coral
    December 29, 2009 at 18:16

    @ Mark in Germany: “And if you want to ask what gives me the right to post the above comment.”

    What gives you the right to post the above comment is that you are allowed to state your opinion because you live in a relatively free country with fairly unmoderated internet access. You don’t have to be in a military family to have the right to your opinion, and in fact, a lot of people who have nothing to do with the military share your views.

  64. 97 Alan in Arizona
    December 29, 2009 at 18:17

    You would think that the United Nations would have worked this issue out decades ago. A world organization should oversee world law. To be a member each nation should fit within guidelines for law. We can’t be a United World if each country has an inconsistent set of governing guidelines to every other country.

  65. 98 Anthony
    December 29, 2009 at 18:17

    In just Arizona, 1 person is kidnapped a day because of the drug cartels. People are dying all the time (by both O.D.ing and murder) in the U.S. because of drugs. I say make Cannibus legal, and harder penalties on the REAL drugs. Maybe not execution, but lets bring back corporal punishment.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  66. 100 SAAD
    December 29, 2009 at 18:17

    Death penalty is too harsh a punishment.

  67. 101 AD from Hong Kong
    December 29, 2009 at 18:18

    This Drug smuggling case has gone a little overwrought. In my opinion, this is bad politic for Chinese. Despite British’s efforts in sending high rank official to negotiate for mental diagnosis for Akmal Sheikh, the Chinese government did not budge. On the other hand, the North Korean released 2 spies (whom would receive death penalty easily) because Clinton visited. North Korean showed to the world that there are rooms for negotiation.

    Does it mean China do not care about dialog between countries? Or is it Chinese’s political gesture to curb foreign influence in domestic affairs. To think about it, China’s strong-handed policies have been quite equal across the board. E.g. China executed a few corrupted high-ranking officials (including the mayor of Shanghai) last year.

    So, what is more important – international relationship or rules of Laws?

    Recently, a Chinese international student killed another Chinese student in the US and will soon face death penalty. If Chinese send high-ranking officials to the US and negotiate for reduced penalty or metal checks for the murderer, should USA reconsider the court decision?

  68. 102 paul bolton
    December 29, 2009 at 18:20

    Let not the British Govenement turn this execution into a politcal issue , the man was caught smuggling toxic materiels i e drugs , the Chinese are not going to change their laws to please anybody, the execution of this man was within the Chinese laws and were carried out according to their laws, the fact the the man was a Briton and not a Chinese National, doesn’t change the way the Chinese are going to pass sentences ,, and besides who wants drugs in their country, Iam sure that most people do not, so yes they executed an englishman, a Drug smuggler ! Alors life goes on ,,,

  69. 103 Anthony
    December 29, 2009 at 18:24

    @ Mark in Germany and Jens

    So true. If I go to Afghanistan wearing an American flag hat, I’m going to expect to die. This guy new the consequences for his actions.

    Bring back the death penalty to the UK, AND MUCH MORE IN THE U.S. for those rotting away in our prisons for life like Richard Ramirez.

    You used to be executed for stealing a mans horse. Now you can rape and kill a bunch of innocent people and end up getting married while in a U.S. prison. It’s a travesty.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  70. 104 Mark from Germany
    December 29, 2009 at 18:25

    Answer to jens

    What my service to the Crown gives me is the right to express my opinion.
    Due to my and my families service to the Crown other the years, other people are able to express their opinion whether or not I agree with it.
    That is what I and other family members served for.

    We may disagree with each others viewpoint and that is okay.
    I believe I have earnt the right to post my point of view.
    Have you earnt the right?

    • 105 leti in palma
      December 29, 2009 at 19:21

      @Mark in germany:
      I’m having a hard time believing that the moderator has cancelled my comments to this army dude and then allows HIM to continue to spout HIS nonsense.

      Why does having served in the army mean that you and your family have EARNED the right to post a comment, and the rest of us NOT?
      Give us a break mate.

    • 106 oscar
      December 29, 2009 at 22:10

      When somebody is born, he earns that right.

  71. 107 Anthony
    December 29, 2009 at 18:27

    @ Ahmed Abdikadir, KENYA.

    Are you REALLY playing the Muslim card on this? As if China would have let him go if he were Christian or Buddhist or Atheist.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  72. 108 Rashid Patch
    December 29, 2009 at 18:36

    How should we deal with drug smugglers when they are governments? Like Karzai and the “Northern Alliance” mafias in Afghanistan?

    Or the CIA, which has been actively part of the heroin trade since the 1940s?

  73. 109 Patrick in Vancouver WA
    December 29, 2009 at 18:36

    The government of china does not value the lives of their own people. The rampant corruption and brutal suppression of free speech are manifestations of absolute power corrupting absolutely.

    I cannot affect change in China, except by voting with my dollar. I never knowingly buy Chinese products, not because of the quality of those goods, but I wish to send a message. Thank you for proving this forum. My voice is just a bit louder because it exists.

    • 110 AD from Hong Kong
      December 29, 2009 at 19:08

      To Patrick in Vancouver:

      There is a wonderful book you should read: “A Year Without “Made in China” by Sara Bongiorni

      The issue is in this black and white. Being xenophobic does not solve the Human Rights problem. Do you buy things from the Chinese government or from Canadian companies operating in China?

      The world is interconnected, and this is why we can chat on this forum.

    • 111 leti in palma
      December 29, 2009 at 19:24

      what quality????

  74. 112 patti in cape coral
    December 29, 2009 at 18:42

    @ Mark in Germany – I’m not sure I understand what you are saying… is the only way to earn the right to express your own opinion through military service? So my two brothers and one sister who served in the military have earned the right to express their opinion, but I, who have not served in the military, didn’t earn it? Is military service the only way to serve your country?

  75. December 29, 2009 at 18:43

    Mr.Big could not operate without Mr.Small or even Mr.Inbetween.Any link in the chain that is broken must be good news.

    • 114 John
      December 29, 2009 at 18:51

      NAnswer to David Price

      Not if all the Mr. Bigs in the drug world contantly get away with it and all the little people end up carrying the sentences death or jail

  76. 115 Alan in Arizona
    December 29, 2009 at 18:46

    @ Anthony

    I agree! Make Cannabis legal and controlled to eliminate Drug Cartels. Increase the punishment for hard drugs. Stop wasting money on life sentences. Maybe not the death penalty for drugs, smuggling or production. But some action as a permanent punishment. Like a mental modification or Lobotomy. Remove the criminal aspect or higher function of the mind. Hand them a broom and put them to sweeping streets for the rest of their lives. If we have to take care of criminals, make them easy to deal with and cut the control and maintenance requirements. Cheap labor can’t be beat!

    • 116 David
      January 3, 2010 at 00:06

      Mmmm! Let’s take the US back to the ‘chain gangs’ of the late 1800’s. Would white smugglers be treated the same this time?

  77. 117 paul bolton
    December 29, 2009 at 18:46

    Oh yes I forgot to add that as the British fought the Opiem wars against the Chinese , ( if you cant kill em drug em ) do think the Chinese have forgotten that period in their history??? I think not, seems to me that the British have indulged in all kinds of wars agaisnt everybody including the Crusades Slavery ,Murder and Mayhem over the centuries , so why do we still try to act like a colonial power now,, to late Gordon,

  78. 118 Shannon in Ohio
    December 29, 2009 at 18:47

    Why are people surprised that they executed this particular drug smuggler? Because he was a UK citizen? People in China are imprisoned for writing articles critical of the government, or trying to access certain websites.

  79. 119 Elias
    December 29, 2009 at 18:48

    China executes people like swatting flies. The government needs to subjugate their huge population of over a billion people or face their own downfall, such is the way of absolute power. Their laws are made to keep its people in check and they dont believe in tollerance and human rights. People have been executed for demonstrating their grievances. No power on earth is going to influence them in any way what so ever.
    Whilst I cannot condone Ahmal Shiekh’s smuggling of drugs who was a foreigner, surely there should have been some consideration if in fact he was mentally unbalanced, in which case he was not resposible for whatever he did and should have been shown some compassion. In China the law has to be adhered to regardless. The question should be asked on what legal grounds according to the laws of China was the invasion and occupation of Tibet justified?. Was this not a criminal act by a government who strictly enforce their laws?.

  80. December 29, 2009 at 18:52

    I don’t believe drug smugglers should be executed. Instead, they should be sent to jail, where they should doo good things, such as preparing food, clothing and other items for the poor, the elderly and the disabled.

    Regarding the killing of Akmal Shaikh, I don’t think foreigners should be treated any better than domestic criminals. I am not convinced that he wouldn’t have smuggled drugs into China if he didn’t have bipolar disorder. People withut mental health problems have smuggled drugs abroad before, after being fooled by drug dealers.

  81. 121 GetACluePeople
    December 29, 2009 at 18:59

    So he was mentally competent to run his own small business and to marry and raise a family, but too daft to know that when someone gives you luggage and tells you not to look into it there might be something a bit spotty?

    I suffer from bipolar depression too, but I know right from wrong.

  82. 122 Brennan
    December 29, 2009 at 19:05

    What the HELL. Who is China and why do we care. Legalize all drugs! Concentrate time and energy on saving the environment.

  83. 123 Pat (Ohio, USA)
    December 29, 2009 at 19:10

    I am American and believe that the death penalty is barbaric in ANY situation and is unacceptable in a modern society. Furthermore, the death penalty is not a deterrent — numerous studies here in the USA have confirmed as much. People will still commit crimes and smuggle drugs regardless of the penalty, and governments must fight the disease and not the symptom.

  84. 124 Anthony
    December 29, 2009 at 19:12

    My step father (a doctor) took me to an area where people were going through their heroine withdrawals when I was younger, and it was INSANE!!! People are ruined for the rest of their lives after being hooked on the stuff. People who distribute this stuff is responsible for RUINING TONS OF LIVES.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

    • 125 leti in palma
      December 29, 2009 at 19:28

      Heroin withdrawal is LESS hard on the system than nicotine withdrawal.

      Heroin addiction is a total waste of time and energy, but alcoholism ruins and kills FAR MORE lives.
      Get your info right, Anthony from LA.

  85. 126 Tom D Ford
    December 29, 2009 at 19:14

    @Mark from Germany
    December 29, 2009 at 18:25

    “Answer to jens”

    “What my service to the Crown gives me is the right to express my opinion.”

    Here in the United States we are all Born with the Unalienable Right to Freedom of Speech”, we don’t have to bow and scrape and serve some “Monarch” in any way or form to be given that Right.

    And considering the history of military “service to the Crown” in waging war to try and force the Chinese to get addicted to Opium in the Opium Wars, I’d suggest that using “service to the Crown” as the basis and justification of any right is spurious at best.

    In my opinion you are born with the “Right to Freedom of Speech” because you are human and so are subject to Universal Human Rights as agreed and declared by the UN.

    And I don’t agree with you about the death penalty for that British drug smuggler, state sponsored murder is just as much murder as any other.

  86. 127 Alex in Canada
    December 29, 2009 at 19:14

    Executing drug smugglers could never have any effect on the global drug trade. The smugglers are not the ones with power – they are not the masterminds behind the operations.

    Drug lords will simply blackmail, manipulate, force, or coerce others to smuggle, as they have no regards for anyones life, and don’t think twice about risking those lives to move their product.

  87. 128 Anthony
    December 29, 2009 at 19:14

    Yes, I’ve made a mistake. But I wouldn’t make a mistake in North Korea, Iran, or China.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  88. 129 Jonathan (San Francisco)
    December 29, 2009 at 19:16

    WHAT? Of course drug smugglers shouldn’t be executed! Nobody at all should be executed. It doesn’t deter anyone from anything. That’s a settled issue; the evidence is in. And drug laws do far more damage than illegal drugs do. That too is demonstrable.

    I’m hearing someone say that capital punishment is justified for people who “lack common sense.” That would thin our ranks considerably! How appalling. Can these lunatics be a fair sample of public opinion? Unspeakable.

  89. 130 Everyman
    December 29, 2009 at 19:21

    No one should condone drug trafficking. However, what should be the punishment for breaking the law? Should one be executed for stealing a loaf of bread or a ribbon? Minor property crimes received the death penalty in early 1800s Britain. A sovereign country that had passed laws against this offence. The question is not the legality of the death penalty but it’s morality.

  90. 131 Robert berretta
    December 29, 2009 at 19:22

    The Mexican drug cartels have no problem executing those that try to stop drug smugglers.

  91. 132 Jason
    December 29, 2009 at 19:23

    I’m a Canadian living in New York listening to the show, utterly astounded at the responses of people supporting the death penalty for drugs smugglers. Leaving aside the question of the man’s competency to stand trial, there is an assumption that heroin sales is akin to murder. Prescription drugs kills far more people than drugs like cocaine and heroin – not to mention cigarettes and automobiles. Should we execute those purveyors as well? The death penalty does not deter murder as numerous studies have shown, so it can’t be expected to deter drugs smuggling. China is a barbaric state with knee-jerk reactions to law and order. That this appeals to so many westerners may be indicative of failures in the western model of criminal justice, but it is certainly not moral, just or civilized.

  92. 133 KevinPE
    December 29, 2009 at 19:24

    How about we review the entire law on narcotics? Legalize and regulate the industry completely, complete with quality checks and grading. In the States it can be amalgamated into the alcohol & tobacco portfolio, to be renamed TAD – Tobacco, Alcohol & Drugs. (I always thought the Food and Drug Administration didn’t sound right) Now with all the bad stuff in one basket so to speak it will be easy to regulate and tax. The law can be amended so that any crime committed under the influence is deemed especially heinous, is no longer a mitigating, but an aggravating factor with a stiff minimum sentence (not to run concurrently) ADDED – For example in a state with the death penalty, a murder sentence with drug aggravation automatically evokes the death penalty. A Life sentence is LIFE (you die inside). Just tossing it out there – ??

  93. 134 stephen/portland
    December 29, 2009 at 19:28

    This execution is to send a warning to all would be smugglers who wish to operate within China’s borders and I don’t think it will make any difference to the people who make large sums of money from trafficking in illegal narcotics, They will just adapt and take advantage of desperate and vulnerable couriers to do their dirty work for them lured by the promise of fast cash.

    And of course the death penalty works so well, just look at the States that have the Death penalty in America they now have no crime and no one on Death row.

    Yes I am being sarcastic.

  94. 135 Thomas Murray
    December 29, 2009 at 19:28

    An emphatic NO!!!

    Else we should be executing the addicts, as well, since they create the demand for the smugglers. Next, we should execute criminals who are insane or feeble minded, as their kind detract from the gene pool.

    You should hear yourselves talk. The death penalty is only viable in an uncivilized society — (which, I admit, the US is not).

    –Louisville, Kentucky, US.

  95. 137 Zj
    December 29, 2009 at 19:29

    I believe this case may be linked to the execution of an Australian drug smuggler in Singapore about 2 years ago. To summarise, Singapore held a similar position to that of China. I stand by the Chinese position of consistency and non-interference. It is necessary to note that the rule of law if extended to citizens of such countries ought and should be extended to immigrants as well. It will be inconsistent and unfair, a case of double-standard if it weren’t appiled. Furthermore the rule of law of each sovereign nation should be respected rather than side-stepped. It is a sovereign matter in which the sovereign nation has the right to exercise its laws as written in its statutes. Deferring to external nations will show weakness and a willingess to change once sovereign rights under pressure.

  96. 138 Derek in California
    December 29, 2009 at 19:30

    First, I think we need to parse what we mean by ‘drugs,’ as it’s become harmfully over-simplified. In no way has marijuana ruined the lives of millions. If someone argues differently, then I ask for a comparison to the ruining of lives by alcohol which is (arbitrarily) the legal drug of choice of the world.

    Second, it’s true what someone said above: the death penalty has not changed crime rates in the U.S., or in any other country practicing it for that matter. Our ideas of punishment do not work. And particularly when it comes to drugs, programs that’ve dealt with rehabilitation, addiction issues, etc. have been the main EFFECTIVE strategy of reduction of crime. To not look at the empirical data is to be swayed by irrationality, blood lust, and vengeance, all of which solve no crime problems and keep us from progressing as a species.

  97. 139 oscar
    December 29, 2009 at 19:32

    Culture is certainly an issue here. “Capital crime” is understood differently. In westerns societies drug trafficking it is not. In China and Singapore, it certainly might be.. Adultery could be a capital crime in some parts of the muslim world. So foreigners are not always aware of the consequences of their acts, becuase they think that law is similar everywhere. By the way, China’s claim that there were not previous evidence of his alleged illness is ever absurd.

  98. 140 Justin Reynard
    December 29, 2009 at 19:32

    Lets geat real about drug policy, at least in the united states 1 in every 10 people is incarcerated in jail. Half of those are drug offenders. More than 70 percent of that half are nonviolent 1st drug offenders. There are as many young adults ages 18 to 24 in jail for drug offenses as there are in colleges and universities. Since the 80s we have been fighting the war on drugs in america, drurring that time drug importation and use has grown. The average sentence for a cocaine or heroine dealer is at least over 10 years in jail. the point is 10 years is a lot of time. that scares me just about the same as a death sentence does. so how would the death sentence be any diffrent from the lengthy sentences handed out in the united states today. We as a nation and hopefully one day as a global society need to realize any punishment for durgs will never deter drug usage or trade. We need to address the problem in a diffrent way because the current war on durgs in America and the high incarceration rate for young 1st time drug offenders clearly shows these methods dont work

  99. 141 chip johns
    December 29, 2009 at 19:33

    Executing this guy and calling it a positive step in fighting the drug industry is like executing a foot soldier in the midst of genocide trial and indulging in some self congratulation. He is a pawn and singularly unimportant in the big scheme of things. There are clearly bigger and more powerful interests in the global drug industry that discourage the dissolution and dismantlement of the industry on a global level. Way too much money and that is what drives all govt and business.

  100. 142 EchoRose in Florida, USA
    December 29, 2009 at 19:33

    I do not condone this execution, though I do believe in a country’s right to their laws and punishments.

    However, this does not address innocents used as “mules” (unknowingly smuggling) who will die needlessly, and this is horror at it’s utmost.

    Until we can know for a fact that a person knowingly smuggled drugs, I don’t think death has any part in a proper solution.

  101. 143 Wilfred Ayaga, Nairobi
    December 29, 2009 at 19:34

    Even as the Chinese executed the drug peddler, the world should pay greater attention to the real barons behind this trade. Akmal Sheikh is only a small fish in a sea teeming with mandarins who would do anything to swim in opulence.Simply put, Sheikh is the proverbial sacrificial lamb.’ The real faces behind the drug trade are still out there, untouched, unspoken of.

  102. 144 terry
    December 29, 2009 at 19:34

    The death penalty should be used globally for everyone involved in the production and distribution of illicit drugs.

  103. 145 Anthony
    December 29, 2009 at 19:35

    @ Jonathan

    Oh really. Show me your proof, because I say that saying that it doesn’t deter anything is garbage. And last time I checked, dead pedophiles can’t molest any more kids.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  104. 146 Major Shaw
    December 29, 2009 at 19:38

    The execution of a person merely on the issue of drug smuggling is quite barbaric and un-human. The courts and the security agencies should have dealt the problem in a better manner.


  105. 148 Ralph
    December 29, 2009 at 19:39

    Death penalty only raises the price of drugs which raises the problem with stealing for the money to pay for them.
    -Portland OR USA

  106. 149 drumhammer
    December 29, 2009 at 19:40

    Drugs and gun trafficing is the biggest business in the world. Those who supply drugs and guns have a vested interest in keeping this controversy alive. If these drugs were legal there would be no need for smuggling, and the price would normalize so that the person buying said drugs would not need to steal to afford their habit. I believe those responsible for illegal, imoral wars should be executed.

  107. 150 EchoRose in Florida, USA
    December 29, 2009 at 19:40

    I agree with the caller, follow Portugals example and treat drug abuse as a sickness!!! NOT A CRIME!!!

  108. 151 Chris - Chicago, IL
    December 29, 2009 at 19:40

    No human has any right to take the life of another human no matter the circumstance. We have prisons for people that commit crimes. I believe it is a far worse punishment to be locked up and live with the realization of those crimes committed. I find it frightening that so many people think it is okay to murder another human being. It is obvious that we as humans have much to learn about humanity. China is taking the easy way out, murder the criminals rather than rehabilitate them. It is absolutely horrible!

  109. 152 Major Shaw
    December 29, 2009 at 19:40

    To kill the flower is not the solution we have to kill the tree, that should be the right approach. Chinese should be educated in this regard.


  110. 153 Josiah Soap
    December 29, 2009 at 19:41

    When in Rome springs to mind. This planet is still made up of different cultures with different rules. When we travel we must respect and obey these rules or pay the price. Ultimately this guy was not the dealer but had to pay the price for breaking the law.
    I dread the day when the west ultimately forces its politically correct human rights laws on all other countries. Its the diversity of people and practices that makes this world so rich.

  111. 154 Jane
    December 29, 2009 at 19:43

    I say way to go…and while we’re at it, how about (with certain guidelines) execute habitual users! That will greatly reduce the number of thefts, damages (and some diseases) as well as, acting as a deterrent to people who are thinking of trying drugs.

    I also can’t believe the lame excuse that the man’s family is claiming that he was mentally challenged! What a crock!

    Portland, Oregon

  112. 155 oscar
    December 29, 2009 at 19:47

    Interesting about legalizing, somebody from mexico spoke on the phone. I agree, but I wish there could be more like-minded people in USA, otherwise it would never be legalized in Mexico. I do doubt that americans would accept legalization. Not in this century.

  113. 156 Patrick in Hong Kong
    December 29, 2009 at 19:49

    The indignation is not to do with drugs.
    Drug trafficking is a despicable crime.
    The issue here is the absence of an independent judiciary – courts in the PRC are merely organs of the state – and a capital sentence handed down by a mock tribunal is bound to cause indignation.

  114. 157 mike
    December 29, 2009 at 19:49

    Remeber the opium trade in china. Drugs kill people. Drug smugglers and traffickers are commiting murder on a mass scale. The chineese cannot let history repeat itself. I say good for china,

  115. 158 terry
    December 29, 2009 at 19:50

    Thank you for making the point that drug use may be a health (mental of physical), but drug smuggling is criminal.

  116. 159 bob in bismark
    December 29, 2009 at 19:50

    What was the carbon footprint of the execution?

  117. 160 Ye
    December 29, 2009 at 19:50


    The key issue is being ignored. The Chinese government could not show leniency here because it would have outraged Chinese citizens. The death penalty for drug smuggling law applies to Chinese citizens as well and to exempt Westerners would cause protests. Plus, all this happens in the shadow of the Opium Wars. The Chinese remember very well the British forcing the Chinese to accept opium and the devastating consequences.



    ps–The death penalty is another issue and well worth debating on its own.

  118. 161 Kris brown
    December 29, 2009 at 19:51

    What happened to ‘do what you will should be the hole of the law’ its the drug legislation not the drug thats the problem.

  119. 162 Adam
    December 29, 2009 at 19:51

    I fear that this is a mere flexing of muscles by china and that there will be more to come. the Authorities must have known that this case would cause an uproar and still they went ahead regardless. It is common knowledge that the Chinese have a cavalier attitude towards executions. Expect more outrageous behaviour by the Chinese and expect more helpless angst from the western liberals.

    • 163 LuoBo in NY
      December 30, 2009 at 03:06

      Never understood why western liberals would feel angst about giving a drug smuggler capital punishment but not about his smuggling drug to China.

  120. 164 Tom D Ford
    December 29, 2009 at 19:52

    Since there are always some people who choose to use self destructive drugs, I suggest that they ought to be given a license to use after mandatory classes about their chosen drug and then the government should give them their drugs for the price that it cost the government.

    If you take all of the profit out of drug transactions, the smugglers will go out of business, the growers will grow something else, the Taliban will have their funding cut off, the police will be able to turn their attentions elsewhere, the military will be able to address other problems, and the taxpayers will get out from under the burden of taxes to fight drug wars.

    Take the profits out and the drug trade will collapse.

    And the government dispensary will be able to watch over the users health and address any problems because they would see the user every day when they dispense their drugs.

    So the government would know each user and all transactions would be transparent and aboveboard.

    Decriminalize and take the profits out and you reduce the problems to a manageable size.

  121. 165 Anthony
    December 29, 2009 at 19:53

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?! The ONLY reason why I don’t smoke Cannabis is because it’s illegal!!! This guy is NUTS!!!

    -Anthony, LA, CA

    • 166 KevinPE
      December 29, 2009 at 20:07

      So conversely, if it was legal you definately would? Just kidding. Seriously though I dont use not because of any legal obstruction, but from choice and common sence. If I wanted to, I could get some and be back here before WHYS has posted this post.

  122. 167 Oni
    December 29, 2009 at 19:54

    If you think the death penalty is working to deter criminals take a look at the US. Although some states have stopped using the death penalty, many have not. There have been several recent cases where DNA evidence cleared people already executed. It is not working as a deterrent in the US. The US is no less violent or crime filled because of it.

  123. 168 Jason
    December 29, 2009 at 19:57

    why is the lady on the radio only reading the most sensational pro-execution emails?

    • 169 patti in cape coral
      December 29, 2009 at 20:35

      I was thinking the same thing, Jason. Even though there may be a majority that support the execution, there were more than a few that did not, but we didn’t hear much about them.

  124. 170 Ben
    December 29, 2009 at 19:58

    De-Criminalize drugs – Tax them – Erase the need to smuggle – frees people to get treatment – provide government oversight.

    China is a totalitarian state that executes people indiscriminately.

  125. December 29, 2009 at 19:58

    Yes. And yes again. Recidivists should be executed, not only drug smugglers, but rapists, pedophiles, drunk drivers, terrorists.

  126. 172 EchoRose in Florida, USA
    December 29, 2009 at 19:58

    People who believe in death for drugs only wish to rid the world of people unlike themselves, instead of taking responsibility as a human being and solving this problem through compassionate problem solving and FACING those different from ourselves and coming to a humanly constructive solution.

  127. 173 James Trujillo
    December 29, 2009 at 19:59

    The death penalty is a perfect solution operating within an imperfect system. As human beings we need to find a better solution than sentencing people to death. This man did likely deserve justice but he did not deserve to be killed.

    Portland, Oregon

  128. 174 Wil in Oregon
    December 29, 2009 at 20:04

    Are we killing people for stupidity? This case sickeningly reminds me of James Chasse, who was killed here in Oregon for running away from police. If someone is mentally ill, they need psychological evaluation before any sentence is carried out. I am disgusted by the number of people supporting the death penalty for a non-violent crime.

  129. December 29, 2009 at 20:05

    Legalize the drugs and the black market disappears!!!
    The smugglers, dealers and crime associated with selling and obtaining illegal drugs disappears!

    It makes sense but….too many governments are involved in making money on the illegal drug trade – the U.S. included. Authorities allow it go go on- because it is profitable for them – BUT IT IS ALL BLACK MARKET MONEY.


    • 176 wei Pan
      December 29, 2009 at 20:37

      There are hard drugs in thois world that no country would legalize because of the deadly effects on people and they can destroy the tissues of a society.

      Legalizing drugs only make economics and criminality sense. From public health point of view , this kind of suggestion is baseless.

  130. 177 steve
    December 29, 2009 at 20:05

    DNA has never cleared anyone already executed.

    People are quick to single out the US, but we only execute murderers, not drug smugglers. And you conveniently ignore that Japan has the death penalty as well.

  131. 178 sascha
    December 29, 2009 at 20:06

    The drug behind the illicit drugs IS the problem, namely, MONEY!
    Now how about talking about the death penalty considering this.
    On the other hand, people with addiction problems should be treated.

  132. 179 archibald in Oregon
    December 29, 2009 at 20:09

    It is appalling how many people support the execution of others who are simple pawns in a much larger business and an integral part of governments around the globe. The laws in all of your countries are designed to keep drug trafficking a lucrative alternative to legalization. Profit will most likely see the Heroin seized in this case, back on the streets before his body is cold. What a waste of resource and human life, kind of like the war on “terror”.

  133. 180 Reverend LMF McCormack
    December 29, 2009 at 20:17

    In the many years I’ve worked with people who were addicted to ( and so many who subsequently died of ) opiates, I would say any competent person who smuggles heroin or opium should certainly be shot. Heroin and opium kill people and not just those who use the stuff.

    Should an insane person be executed for his actions? No.

    Should Akmal Sheik have been executed? Based on what is known, I think he should have been deported and permanently remanded to a mental health facility.

    Now consider what Britain did to China with opium….. did anyone expect any outcome but the one that came to be? I certainly did not.

  134. 182 sascha
    December 29, 2009 at 20:40

    @ Reverend LMF
    You condone the death penalty???
    Are you sure you should be preaching the word of “god”???

    • 183 Tom K in Mpls
      December 31, 2009 at 16:13

      If I remember the New Testament correctly, Jesus never spoke out against governments. They all practiced capital punishment in those days. As I remember, any mention of government was supportive. Most Roman law was formed with full consideration of the wishes of the people, this is why it lasted so long. Even Pontius Pilote considered the wishes of the people before passing sentence.

  135. 184 Dan in Indiana
    December 29, 2009 at 20:44

    I have fought against the legalization of drugs all my adult life; and yet, the drug problem has gotten more lucrative than ever.

    Perhaps we (world governments) should spend all the money now spent on law enforcement and encarceration of drug offenders on creating a FREE DRUG DISTRIBUTION PROGRAMME.

    Think of it!!

    No cost to drug users

    No profit for drug sellers

    All controlled by governments that help rather than punish users.


  136. 185 wei Pan
    December 29, 2009 at 20:47

    China has not defended anything , has not justified anything to the world about this. They simply uphold the law of their land.

    Be warned, lots of countries in Asia have the same penalty for drug smuggling. China is particularly sensitive to this because of the Opium War 1839.

  137. 186 Luke
    December 29, 2009 at 21:02

    Reality check: Drugs, drug consumption, and drug smuggling will never go away. Can we all agree on this? There is still lots of heroin in China and every other country and always will be.

    The best we can hope for is good prevention and education to prevent people from trying drugs in the first place. A system that makes no differentiation between cannabis and crack will never accomplish this. “just say no” will never work.

    Legalize and heavily regulate all drugs to remove organized crime. Make supplying drugs to minors a shameful and and hefty criminal offence. In free society adults should be able to consume drugs if they want to, even if they are really bad for your health (like alcohol and tobacco).

    Street drugs are the primary revenue for gangs, criminals, and terrorists. Why not take it out of their hands with responsible regulation, health warnings, and proper education? (like alcohol and tobacco: the 2 most deadly drugs in the world). The revenue could be used to help people who face addiction instead of stupidly throwing them in jail which helps nobody.

  138. December 29, 2009 at 21:17

    I think the comments above and especially those coming from british contributers may point that we are moving away from the political correct mushy attitude to crime that has left our country with too much empathy for the criminal and too little for the victim.
    Certainly the point that China is a soveriegn country and has a right to use their own laws and judgement on anyone who breaks them. Our laws against drugs are not working and the drug dealers we catch, i they ever get to jail are soon back on the streets to peddle their evil wares again.
    I think that once again the government and all political parties have lost touch with the people.
    The first thing we should have done in Afghanistan is permananly destroy the poppy fields. That at least would have been something positive to have come out of our invasion of the country. Anything else is wishful thinking.
    To sum up we must stop telling other countries how to run their affairs when it is painfully obvious to all that our own government has failed totally to deal with this and all other crimes.

  139. December 29, 2009 at 21:23

    if people smuggling heroin are to be killed,then what do we say of people who launder money and embezzle money.I dont think there is much difference between embezzling and smuggling.

  140. December 29, 2009 at 21:23

    Wow, so I am not the only one getting my comments that in the past would have been insightful and engaging to the conversations, rejected. What ever happened to “World Have Your Say”. Now a days the topics are most often shallow and of little relevance to “the world”. When they do have topics worth discussing, anybody not making the most obvious of observations are rejected.

    Well it was good while it lasted.

  141. 190 Andy
    December 29, 2009 at 21:45

    If the British govt want to encourage drug usage in China.

    Then let her Majesty send their Royal Navy to China and make their point.
    Just like what they did in the Opium War, which they rob Hong Kong from the Qing Government in th 19th Century.

    Drug is evil to mankind, to have sympathy for the drug trafficas is to be cruel to humanity.

    I strongly support China tough stand on the drug issue, and I hope for a drug free China in the future.

  142. 191 Mudplugger in UK
    December 29, 2009 at 22:00

    The man committed a crime in China and should suffer the penalty under Chinese law – end of this story.

    However, the more important underlying issue is whether criminalising the narcotics trade is the right way to handle it. We may argue that alcohol and tobacco do more harm than ‘illegal’ drugs, but most of our societies have accommodated them, and their consequences, for generations.

    When the USA prohibited alcohol back in the 1920s, the consequence was massive criminal activity, impure product and societal breakdown (albeit that some of the illicit fortunes made became the founding of some high-profile political families, such as the Kennedy clan). I would have thought we should all have learned from the lesson from that period.

    A genuinely mature society would recognise that, as you can never ‘un-invent’ these substances, the best approach is to regulate their supply and then apply taxes in order to finance any rehabilitation necessary through their use.

    No other approach will ever succeed.

  143. 192 Jonathan (San Francisco)
    December 29, 2009 at 22:18

    It’s a baffling, shocking, depressing sight to witness citizens of wealthy, democratic societies begging their governments for LESS freedom–for arbitrary imprisonment and even death, to protect them from their own decisions. Prosecuting the artificial, victimless “crime” of taking drugs that happen, at a particular time and place, to be illegal, rather than more toxic drugs that happen to be legal. Who profits from this grotesquery? The violent criminals whose franchise is thus guaranteed, and those who toil in the machinery of repression–politicians, police, prison guards, propogandists, executioners.

    While we have this fatuous conversation, citizens of Iran are fighting and dying in the streets as they try to obtain personal liberties that some of us would so eagerly throw away.

    Makes sense to me.

  144. 193 suzanne
    December 29, 2009 at 22:29

    Akmal Sheik was mentally ill, and this should have been taken into consideration when deciding his sentance. In the west, we would like to think we would at least do this. China historially has proven to have very little regard for human circumstances where thier law is concerned. But, this is thier way and the rest of the world knows this.

    If Akmal Sheik was not mentally ill, the argument as to whether or not he should be executed would be different. I think you should bring up his mental state as much as you can, because this is the defining factor as to his legitimate guilt. If he were mentally sane, his choices could be called into question and then he could have been held responsible for his actions, regardless of the harshness of the consequence.

    as for China being offended as to western responses, too bad. This is the way they treat people, then they get backlash. Of course, the average Chinese citizen probobly doesnt get the same information the west, however, they also know the way thier government operates.

  145. December 29, 2009 at 22:44

    I think China position is more moraly advanced regarding its development status to punishing drug dealers, than britains position at the opium wars 150 years ago supporting drug dealers. So you should be carefull excagerating cultural imperalism to another nation!

  146. 195 Tom K in Mpls
    December 29, 2009 at 22:45

    It depends on the country. In this case, sure. You need to judge the policy by the success of the nation. I know the US anti drug policy, going for the leader approach, has been failing miserably in the US for about 30 years. We refuse to learn. I would like to see more verifiable stats out of China.

  147. 196 Alan in Arizona
    December 29, 2009 at 23:52

    @ Anthony

    I agree, dead pedophiles don’t hurt kids. Unfortunately the death penalty didn’t deter the pedophile before he was caught. The child still suffered. That’s a good reason for the death penalty. Smuggling large quantities of drugs might be a good reason for the death penalty. A couple of grams of Hash or Cannabis is not a good reason for the death penalty.

  148. 197 David
    December 30, 2009 at 00:42

    Over this holiday period we have had four major incidents of violence by individuals, each time a history of mental illness was dragged out in their defence. What are all this mentally ill people doing at large? Why is the duty of care to the general population not being followed up by western governments?

    Governing China is a challenging task and conflict with China over a drug smuggler is just not worth it.. Give China a bit of space.

  149. 198 Jonathan (San Francisco)
    December 30, 2009 at 00:46


    Dude, if ya want to find out whether capital punishment deters, go to google, type in CAPITAL PUNISHMENT DETER, read results. It’s the golden age of information. Drink deep. You don’t need me muddying the stream.

    You’re right–dead people don’t commit crimes. But that’s not deterrence. Deterrence is preventing crime by persuading people not to commit it, which saving a lot of grief, money, resources, spares victims, etc. By the time they’ve committed crime and been arrested, tried, convicted, and chucked away in prison, or killed, it’s waaay too late to deter.

    Turns out that what deters is swiftness and certainty of punishment, not severity. A short sentence deters more than a long one if it”s more likely to actually happen (and if the guy knows that). Current policy of course is all about severity, because of political pandering to ignorant bloodlust rather than informed reason, the former being both more common and a stronger motivator. Not unlike the Bush doctrine: talk tough enough, get away with dumb, destructive policies, because facts don’t matter.

  150. 199 Kindi Jallow
    December 30, 2009 at 02:40

    ‘Thau shall not kill’ is a phrase used by both christain and muslims unless they are real threat to our existance. As I come to understand the laws in China, drug smuggling is a crime and carry the death panelty, Corruption is also a crime and carry the death panelty, public demonstration is also a crime and carry the death panelty? We are urging the Cninese government to review their laws and make them more humane to meet millennium development goals. Can the Chinese Authorities give us the number of people killed each year because of crimes committed? Does killing people everyday prevents other people from doing the same crime? What is the objective of a death sentence or maybe it an eye for an eye?

  151. 200 Oliver Williams
    December 30, 2009 at 03:17

    i want to say that these smugglers should be executed as this will serve as a deterrent to other drug dealers. and it will reduce the rate of drugs been smuggled.

  152. 201 Dennis Junior
    December 30, 2009 at 06:02

    Yes, honestly, I think that drug smugglers in most times they should be

    =Dennis Junior=

  153. December 30, 2009 at 06:37

    Should we kill people who are killing others by the thousands? War criminals execute civilians by the hundreds of thousand. They in turn are executed. Saddam Hussein is one e.g. Should dangerous drug peddlers be treated differently? No. And should UK interfere with the domestic legal process of another country? No. On the contrary, “the law is the law” and everyone must respect the laws of the land on which they now stand.

  154. December 30, 2009 at 07:21

    Hi Sheetal,

    That Akmal Sheikh has been executed is good.

    We are very vocal when it comes to selling of drugs as it undermines the lives of the people that consume it and we go all out to try and eredicate it by endevouring to eliminate the source of the supply.

    So why make such a hue and cry about this. Is it because he was a UK citizen? We go to countries on our travels and must be subjected to those countries rules and regulations and rely on our native country to defend us for our wrongful deeds.


  155. 204 richie
    December 30, 2009 at 07:32

    Where is the proof of incompetence? If the Government (NHS) has documents show them ending the arguments. Had the family concerns with his where about and is this documented. As far as I`am aware the guy managed sustainably to support himself. Carry drugs, outcome the death penalty, period. Why should the British tax payer be burdened with cost to repatriate and support theses people. The discovery of drugs at least saved the lives of thousands.

  156. 205 A.R.SHAUKAT 54
    December 30, 2009 at 07:47

    Off course they must be executed. they are opium for the whole world. they have no right to live and ruin the world they should be hanged in front of the people so that every one should think a thousand times before adopting such crime….!!!

  157. 206 javed iqbal
    December 30, 2009 at 07:53

    Drugg smugglers are very few.They are destroying not only the lives of people but also creating barriers by many ways in the development of the world.in this noderanization where the world has becom globalized, the resourseful countries including United Nations should make an organozation for catching the criminals and sumugglers from all over the world.In short,this is the only solution to make a peaceful land.if it has done,it would be a first step for the betterment of mankind.

  158. December 30, 2009 at 07:59

    Off course they should be executed as they are an evil for the society. they should be hanged in front of the people so that no one would ever dare to adopt such a deadly profession.

  159. December 30, 2009 at 08:01

    I feel China is not right with their decision to execute Shaik. Life is precious and cannot be replaced. He had not killed anyone with the drugs he is said to have smuggled. The best punishment, therefore, was to commute his sentence to life imprisonment.
    It should be noted, again, that Shaik’s parents said the man had some mental disorders. In this case, my feeling is that China had to wait for sometime to observe and find out the truth about this rather than just going ahead killing him.
    What if it is found out later that he was really mentally sick? What will China do? What if it is discovered that he committed the crime under the influence of some people? Who will bring him back to life?
    Let us be considerate and human, laws or no laws. Remember, judge not for ye shall be judged.

  160. 209 Henry
    December 30, 2009 at 08:21

    Why defend a drug trafficker?.Giving excuses such as mentally ill or bi-polar would not help either. Respect other nation’s law. Britain would be happier with one less drug trafficker instead.

    Unless Britain practises what she preaches and stop condemning other nations’ human right, Britain would eventually losing respect from the rest of the world.

  161. December 30, 2009 at 08:33

    Although people have hailed the Chinese action, I strongly believe the execution was very wrong and in conflict with the right to life.

    Watipaso Mzungu Junior in Malawi

  162. 211 Insan Mukmin
    December 30, 2009 at 08:57

    What punishment should befit a drug trafficker? If you listen to the tales of horror from households which have one or more drug addicts, you will have no sympathy for the drug trafficker. Drug smugglers pawn their mother’s jewellery and sell their brother’s motorcycle. They can’t hold down a job so they become prostitutes and snatch thieves. They threaten their families with knives and axes demanding money which they need for buying drugs. Many times they get high and kill their family members. These drug addicts have to be rehabilitated which is costing billions of dollars. The success rate of rehabilitation is very low and most return to the habit. Drugs also corrupt the Police Force and politicians/judges and ruin the country.

  163. 212 sumedh from nepal
    December 30, 2009 at 09:29

    well i think none of the crime should be punished as high as death penalty……what can be done if somebody is given death penalty and later found that he is not involved in the crime……so let alone death penalty,,,,,,other crime should also avoid death penalty….

  164. December 30, 2009 at 09:40

    If anyone thinks that a drug smuggler shouldn’t be executed, please suggest any suitable punishment for the culprit. What would be the Punishment other then execution for a drug dealer or smuggler?

  165. 214 t
    December 30, 2009 at 09:46

    To all death penalty supporters:

    What if this were YOUR friend or loved one? Yet, you weren’t sure that they did have some mental illness.

    Either way, what would you do? Would you try to do everything you could to save them? Or, would you just sit back and do nothing?

    And what if you had proof that they were innocent? But nobody would listen to you? And, the Chinese govt. never apologized for what they did?

    I’ve actually heard a few people say that nothing is perfect. So if 98% of those executed are guilty, that’s an “acceptable margin or error”.

    I’m not sure which is worse.

  166. 215 Khadija Tariq
    December 30, 2009 at 10:25

    Drugs are very harmful for human body and mind.Those people who are adicted of heroin, opium etc.They can`t work properly.
    Many countries smugled the drugs to their enemy countries to destroy their economy .
    I dont think that they are fair with humanity.They do all these kinds of smugling for their own benefit not for the welfare of humanity.
    Smugling is a big crime so we must punish them, If we want to save the HUMANITY.

  167. December 30, 2009 at 11:01

    Being a muslim I suggest that before taking decision regarding punishment of any offender, he should be treated nutally according to the law and then punished accordingly. In Islam there is no forgivness for those who play with the life of others. Islam didn’t suggest execution of such persons but not permit to wander freely as well.

  168. 217 Johnston
    December 30, 2009 at 11:20

    No one is above the law of the land, But I do not agree with death penalty for any offenses.It is always better to rehabilitate a person by hard labour/work..

  169. December 30, 2009 at 11:21

    i think smugglers should dealt be with not executing them,that is they should be given a jail sentence with hard labour.Nigeria.

  170. 219 Ingle
    December 30, 2009 at 12:33

    Killing helps nobody. Those who risk the lives of and health of others by dealing with drugs should get put on hard labour for the rest of their own lives. The money thereby earned could help their victims – which would not only save the cost to taxpayers – but also has the advantage, that if it is found they have been wrongly convicted, they can be released. You cannot give the rights back to someone who is dead.

  171. December 30, 2009 at 13:08

    It’s sad that someone had to die, but trafficking and selling drugs is evil. It’s out of control in most countries. Death by overdosing on drugs – it’s never ending. Most days there’s some young life snuffed out by injecting, injesting, sniffing some sort or illegal drug.

    A house exploding recently in my town because some young men were trying to make dangerous drugs. Innocent people in the street could have died. They’ll get a couple of years in prison – if that!

    Most countries are too soft. Akmal had the sense to get on a plane to China, and he must have known there was a Death Penalty for carrying drugs. I don’t know what the answer is, but something has to be done to stop the addictions and sometimes death of mainly the young and vulnerable.

    Joan Anne Western Australia

  172. December 30, 2009 at 13:13

    I don’t think the question is if they should be executed or not. It would be better if “he”, the Briton, should be executed or not.

    First of all, he knew what he was doing, right? If don’t, he would not have gone to Poland, pick up the drug, and try to get into China. Till this, I suppose, he was not mentally ill. As from he was caught with the drug – became ill. This kind of “strategy” is very used by criminals here, in Brazil, to try to avoid getting maximum sentence.

    Now, going back to the question, I’m not sure if capital sentence is the best way to cope with this; perhaps life in jail would be better.
    We also must realize that if drugs smugglers are selling their “goods”, there’s someone buying in the other side.

    Have you ever thought on how many artists, football players, politicians, etc, use drugs? It’s so “common”! No one is surprised when “more” one artist says is using or is/was addicted to drugs! Who sell it to them?
    Is the drug dealer the only culprit?

    Now, this case came to light because the guy was executed. Why? He is from another country and not a Chinese citizen. If so, nobody would care about.

    I do not know if death penalty should be applied to any one in the world, but if someone is trying to make bad things in another country than yours, it’s better to learn about the country’s law.

  173. 222 George
    December 30, 2009 at 13:16

    A bit of history here. Since 1840, Britain has been trying to export opium and heroin to China, and for most part of the history, it had been successful. That’s how it annexed Hong Kong. The communists took over that country and destroyed the lucrative business. It is therefore understandable that the UK government has so much anger towards China for executing the businessman who simply wanted to revive the century old tradition.

  174. 223 Linda from Italy
    December 30, 2009 at 14:38

    I guess this is a bit late and most people will have moved on by now, but I would like to express my disappointment at the selection of blog posts, e-mails etc. read out on last night’s programme on this subject.
    Maybe because you had that guy making the excellent case for decriminalising/ legalising drugs and other people speaking out against the death penalty, but unless I missed something, almost all the messages you quoted came from the hang ‘em flog ‘em brigade, many congratulating the Chinese regime and bemoaning all the things those of us who live in relatively civilised societies should be so proud to have achieved.
    On the blog alone, there were many posts making a reasoned critique of the “War on Drugs”, which is surely a more universal theme than the fate of one poor, sad man who was in the wrong place at the wrong time and with the wrong stuff in his luggage, whether he put it there or not.
    Makes all us contributors sound like blood thirsty numbskulls, just like that guy who writes for that most right wing of Brit rags, the Daily Mail – Auntie Beeb, what your price your famous “balance” now?

  175. 224 uche
    December 30, 2009 at 14:39

    I don’t think that what China did was right since the man was mental he would not have known what he was doing carrying the drugs and China should have forgiven him because of his brothers appeal for him. I don’t know when humans will have a loving heart for themselves.

  176. 225 uche
    December 30, 2009 at 14:42

    Uche from Nigeria
    I don’t think that what China did was right since the man was mental he would not have known what he was doing carrying the drugs and China should have forgiven him because of his brothers appeal for him. I don’t know when humans will have a loving heart for themselves.

  177. 226 claudine
    December 30, 2009 at 16:31

    Bipolar is a good excuse.
    Hey you found me with a tonne of cocaine, but I can do that because I am suffering from bipolar disorder.
    Excuses over excuses.
    No one should carry drugs.
    Here in Singapore people are hanged for carrying more than 15 g of Heroine or Cocaine. I am sure also here no one cares if the drug runner has any psychological disorders.
    Drug dealing and smuggling is like killing another person.
    A killer also gets death.
    I find it OK.

  178. 227 Mark Longton
    December 30, 2009 at 16:38

    This debate highlights the necessity for both the UK and China to review our respective judicial & punitory systems. Little can be achieved through throwing accusations at one another, but a lot can be gained from mature, respectful debate and discussion with a genuine recognition that both cultures and judicial systems have much to contribute to the evolution of law that can ensure the development of society within an environment that is protected from those who take advantage of society by engaging in criminal activity. Let us behave as a human family

  179. 228 George
    December 30, 2009 at 17:53

    Insanity defense has been used extensively in murder cases here in the US but with very little success. It is a standard practice for any competent defense lawyers to use in order to win sympathy of the court and/or of the public opinion. I would never believe such defense without a lengthy, documented history which this guy didn’t have. On the other hand, I don’t think the drugs should be illegal. If the drugs are legalized, we could eliminate most of the crimes in our society because the traditional dealers can not compete with industrial production of the drugs and would be immediately out of business. The price will be so affordable that nobody will steal in order to sniff something. Yes, some people will die but we have too many people on the planet with limited resources anyway. The drugs could also serve as an evolutionary force in that those who are not addicted would have better chance to survive. After several centuries, we will have a human specie that is more or less immune to drug addiction, and the problem is solved at last.

    • 229 Mark Longton
      December 30, 2009 at 18:45

      Interesting theory but it poses many questions. Do you think your theory applies to murder as well? Or stealing? Do you suggest a free hand reign and society will always self-adjust? How then do you interpret history in relation to state and religious sanctioned war and imperialism?

  180. 230 Tom D Ford
    December 30, 2009 at 17:53

    Since there are only a very few people who want to use drugs that are potentially hurtful to themselves, we could totally collapse the world drug trade and everything surrounding it by having the government sell those drugs at cost, without profit, to the users.

    And that would free all of the rest of us from the current costs of the drug trade, the crime, the cost of police, the heavy taxes, the jails, the corruption of police and other government officials, the state sponsored executions, all of it.

    Only the people who want to hurt themselves would be hurt, and only they would bear the costs.

    You can negotiate whether they should have to take classes about their desired drug and be licensed, have to get only one days worth of drug at a time, have to check in and be checked for health, have to let the government check in on their family and children every week, everything possible to protect everyone around them; but at least we could limit the hurt to those who want and agree to hurt themselves. They are going to do it anyway, the question is how do we protect ourselves from the bad effects surrounding their self destruction?


  181. 231 rgkb
    December 30, 2009 at 19:54

    Responding to comment about the Chinese execution:

    Too long a memory perhaps, but symbolism of a Brit importing drugs into China recalls the “Opium Wars” — I don’t blame the government for making an example of this person even if it took over 100 years to retaliate.

  182. 232 t
    December 30, 2009 at 23:09

    Rephrase the question. If drugs were legalized, would the world really come to an end?

  183. 233 mat hendriks
    December 30, 2009 at 23:32


    What a question!

  184. 234 Guillermo
    December 31, 2009 at 00:36

    In the XIX century England forced China to consume opium. Many chinese were killed and many, many become addicted. When Mao got over China one of his goals was to eliminate opium. China has erradicted this vice that has caught Europe, USA and other Asian countries. Then the execution is a low warning that China will not fall again in this practices that are so nice in western world.

  185. December 31, 2009 at 01:30

    Of course he should have been executed; and if the Government in the UK and the rest of the Western world did the same, things would be a lot better in this country.

  186. 236 JanB
    December 31, 2009 at 04:04

    “Too long a memory perhaps, but symbolism of a Brit importing drugs into China recalls the “Opium Wars” — I don’t blame the government for making an example of this person even if it took over 100 years to retaliate.


    The man wasn’t on trial for the Opium Wars (he wasn’t even born back then), so those wars should have nothing to do with the sentence.

    Regarding the “free drugs” plan.

    Medical costs of drug users are far higher than what they could ever pay back to the state.
    Users would eventually want more than their daily allowed dose, so criminals could still make money by selling drugs.

    I’m not saying it would be worse than the current situation, I’m just saying it may not be better either.

  187. 237 USA
    December 31, 2009 at 07:01

    Law is law, you have to respect the local law. If he had committed this offense in UK, he may not face serious charges by claiming mental illness. A Chinese or British make no difference in front of law.

  188. 238 David Coen
    December 31, 2009 at 15:39

    Seems like most Europeans I read don’t know what bi polar is, I have several friends here in the US with different levels of bi-polar disorders, some of them may not hold a job due to outburst of temper, but they can understand 100% right and wrong like a regular person. It’s a lame excuse for lawyers to claim bi-polar as an excuse to get away with crimes imo.

  189. 239 ricky tanzil
    December 31, 2009 at 16:27

    I thinks some body had missing point here.
    In any goverment, no matter it system, there are balanace of power or chek and balances between executive branch,legislative branch and the judicial.
    Any executive should and could not intervere the judicial system in any country, especially from foreigner. They must enforce the law.

    I just amased many people nowadays suddenly develop mental illness when they committed crime.

  190. 240 ABookReader
    December 31, 2009 at 16:30

    I think that “Mentally Ill” in China is referring to people who are not politically correct. While any mental problem are not excuse of death penalty while they want your kidneys or liver.

  191. 241 Tom K in Mpls
    December 31, 2009 at 16:35

    Okay, I’m the first to say that no human system is perfect. Also, the two reasons for penal institutions are rehabilitation and removing a threat to the public. On the point of removal, how could it be wrong to use the death penalty if the perpetrator can not be rehabilitated? Including insanity.

    Currently in the US it costs more to pursue the death sentence than to support them in a prison. This needs to change. Yes, the system does occasionally, accidentally find innocent people guilty. A popular argument is if they are dead, how can you give them their life back if the error is discovered. My answer is how can you give them their life back if they have been in prison for years. There is no perfect answer. You need to ask, what does the most good, most of the time.

  192. 242 A R Shams
    December 31, 2009 at 17:21

    Execution for smugglng drugs depends on the severity of the crime commited and the country where it happens.

  193. 243 Xiao
    January 2, 2010 at 02:17

    As a chinese, i support my government’s decision to apply the law.

    whether this law is just or not, is NOT for consideration at this point. you cannot simply change the law every time a court case happens to punish a Westerner.

    in singapore you will die for 15 grams of heroin. in japan, 9 grams.

    in almost every asian country there is a big sign at the airport: Drug smuggling is punishable by death.

    now that judicial process has been carried out, we may argue about whether this law is justified or not.

    my personal opinion? continue the ban on the trade and sale of illegal drugs, but treat addicts as patients with a mental illness. in fact this is already starting to happen.

    but don’t get me wrong: there is zero sympathy to drug mules. the people who deserve sympathy are the addicts. drug mules are not desperate – they had at least enough money to buy an international airplane ticket which can feed someone for 3 months in the US. they deserve no mercy. people may say that the drug lords are unaffected; that is true, but you do not stop punishing small criminals because larger ones are not caught. otherwise why punish crime at all? let murderers go, because the biggest murderer in the world right now is not in the streets of LA or Buenos Aires but sitting in the White House and on Wall Street.

  194. 244 Eisha Rasheed
    January 2, 2010 at 10:44

    drug smugglers are the enemies of all the human beings. if anyone has committed this crime he should be punished. if we support a move that is being launched in favor of a drug smuggler than other criminals will also get courage by our this action. i think akmal shaikh should be hanged. in this way we can warn the other criminals. punishment to smugglers will help to reduce crimes like that from the society.

  195. 245 David
    January 3, 2010 at 00:16

    In my opinion drug smugglers are the light guys. What about those involved in weapons smuggling (including politicians) and probably the worst of all, the human trafficker. These animals whilst smuggling their cargo of children terrorise, torture, brutalise and rape their victims until they hand them over to another animal who does the same. Unlike drugs, children can be sold over and over again. Is the death penalty too good for someone like this?

  196. 246 Michael from Australia.
    January 3, 2010 at 08:59

    I agree the guy should be executed. It’s simple.

    Wherever you go, obey the local law. If you offended the law, you get punished. Whether it is capitalization or years in prison, depends on the local law, not depends on individuals’ feeling or understanding of what is should be. And most importantly, it applies to every one, including people from other countries.

    Therefore, he offended the law and the local law says life sentence, he should be getting life sentence according to the law. It’s fair to every one, the message is clear. End of the story.

    I found ridiculous that UK government tried to put pressure to Chinese law system to change the result. Law is law, regardless who you are, where you from. Otherwise, people always find excuses or bribe to avoid the consequences of the law, and It won’t do good to society and it is not fair at all.

    Some argue that this person is mentally ill. I don’t believe so. He know how to handle visa application to China, he can’t be mentally ill. It’s just a lame excuse.

  197. January 3, 2010 at 09:15

    Drugd smugglers are the real killers of human beings.
    THEY ARE Destroying the future of people.They dont know what is humanity are their reights.Their purpose is only get money.They are not able to live for even a second in this world.They shouls be executed as soon as possible.and the world should be cleaned from these peoples.

    Please take a step to clean the world from these killers.
    Nadeem dar
    Lahore Pakistan.

  198. 248 Mike
    January 4, 2010 at 05:43

    As well, the amount of drugs Mr. Sheikh smuggled was enough to kill 28,000 people. Personally, I think he deserves to die.

  199. 249 ARSLAN RAZA
    January 4, 2010 at 16:10

    yes I think that they should be executed because nothing is above board than Law and it is obvious that druggs smuggling is a criminal act that is not forgiveable.

  200. 250 REHAN HASHMI
    January 4, 2010 at 16:21

    Yes I agree that they must be executed because drugs smuggling is an extreme violation of Law and unethical.
    These smugglers not only put their lives in danger but they also play with the lives of innocent persons including children.

  201. 251 Prof. brian bevan
    January 4, 2010 at 16:59

    All drug pushers should be executed!
    They destroy lives!
    They have no conscience whatsoever.
    Any country that carries this out has my full support!

  202. January 4, 2010 at 22:13

    well if you say people should be executed because they smugle drugs what about those who manufacture cigarette and fools smoke them in the public thereby destroying the lungs of those close to them is that also not genocide. my friends all aroud the world stop judging others so you will not be judge on the D-day when we will face the Almighty God.who are we humans to say one should die because he is guilty of a crime. are we also not guilty of crimes that helps to destroy others. as for me i dont think they should be executed becxause we are all guilty of crimes to humanity. what about those who manufacture weapons of mass destruction are they also not guilty?

  203. January 4, 2010 at 23:53

    “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person”. (The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 3. New York, NY: United Nations, 10.12.1948.)

    This is, why I absolutely denounce the execution of Akmal Shaikh, the British national, which was carried out by the Beijing Government (“People’s Republic of China”) on 28th–29th Dec 2009. Mr. Shaikh had smuggled 4 kgs of heroin, but he was also suffering of bipolar disorder. In addition, we denounce all the death sentences pronounced or carried out by the Beijing Government.

    • 254 Mike
      January 6, 2010 at 00:11

      The families devastated by drugs also deserve the right to life liberty and security, don’t you think? Also, the British government failed to provide medical records of Mr. Shaikh’s mental disorders, in spite of repeated request by the Chinese court (bet BBC didn’t tell you that part). Lastly, who are you to denounce the law of a sovereign country whose citizens are subjected to the same set of laws as Mr. Shaikh? Stop defending a drug smuggler, End of discussion.

      • 255 A M Robertson
        February 1, 2010 at 10:29

        I most whole heartly agree with you Mike.
        Alas we even have people whom I view with contempt who speak with civility to a drug dealer on my steet who only got a years suspended sentance.
        Do the judicary live in the real world.
        I even posted notices on the lamp posts saying that all drug dealers should be executed.
        Some of my neighbours took exception to that.
        I called him and his wife and kids filthy stinking drug dealers who should all be executed to his face.
        This is an evil which should cut out of society.

  204. January 4, 2010 at 23:55

    “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person”. (The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 3. New York, NY: United Nations, 10.12.1948.)

    This is, why I absolutely denounce the execution of Akmal Shaikh, the British national, which was carried out by the Beijing Government (“People’s Republic of China”) on 28th–29th Dec 2009. Mr. Shaikh had smuggled 4 kgs of heroin, but he was also suffering of bipolar disorder. In addition, I denounce all the death sentences pronounced or carried out by the Beijing Government.

  205. 257 scmehta
    January 5, 2010 at 07:04

    Whatever happened to my previous comment? However, the power of justice must be measured, both through punishment to the offender/criminal and acquittal to the innocent/framed; poor or wrong judgment tarnishes the true & honest image of justice and its dispenser.

  206. January 5, 2010 at 09:31

    Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes?
    Those who linger over drugs……..
    Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly!
    In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper…..
    A true muslim dosen’t play with and spoilt the life of people…in my view he has no right to live in a society…

  207. 260 A M Robertson
    February 1, 2010 at 08:42

    Do people lack the moral fibre to execute and drive this filth scum called drug dealers from society.
    “There are are even some in my locality who wven pass the time of day with them”
    When you post notices that all drug dealers should be executed the don’t even like this, the dealers human rights what about the the victims of this filth.
    We even have one individual who claims he is a policeman, but when you asked for proof, ie; a warrant card, his reply is that “I am not a beat copper”.
    If he is a so called copper then how did he not spot that this filth was dealing in drugs, are we to question was he getting a cut of the action,

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