Monday, 1 February 2010

A reply from the foreign office

Received this today.

01 February 2010

Dear Dr Alikhan

Thank you for your email about Mr Akmal Shaikh, who was executed in China on 29 December, 2009.
The UK condemns in the strongest terms the execution of Akmal Shaikh and Ministers and officials worked tirelessly to try and prevent it. We made 27separate high level representations to the Chinese authorities, including by the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary who were both personally involved in this case.
We deeply regret that our concerns , and in particular those surrounding mental health issues, were not taken into consideration despite repeated calls by the Prime Minister, Government Ministers, Members of the Opposition and the European Union.
The UK respects China’s right to bring those responsible for drug smuggling to justice. But the UK is completely opposed to the use of the death penalty in all circumstances and will continue to work on its abolition worldwide.
At this time our thoughts are with Mr Shaikh’s family and friends. We continue to offer them all the support we can.

Yours sincerely,

Mary Withall
Mary Withall | Assistant Desk Officer| Country Casework Team|Consular Directorate | WH4.3| Foreign and Commonwealth Office | London SW1A 2AH