Gordon Brown says: ""I condemn the execution of Akmal Shaikh in the strongest terms and am appalled and disappointed that our persistent requests for clemency have not been granted. I am particularly concerned that no mental health assessment was undertaken."
Meanwhile, on 18th December, a British former soldier who faced five years in jail after finding a shotgun and handing it in to police in Reigate, Paul Clarke, 27, was given a 12-month suspended sentence for possession of a firearm at Reading Crown Court today. (Surrey Today)
Both cases show the inflexibility of bad laws.
In the UK, unauthorised posession of firearm = 5 years.
In China, drug smuggling = death.
There is a difference in degree, and a certain amount of flexibility in the UK, but there is a similarity in kind, and no cause for smugness or finger-pointing on the part of Britons.
Another parallel that is shown up by the case is that the two major states, USA and China, are of a piece when it comes to belief in the death penalty. It is not good that they share this bararous practice.