Being implacably opposed to the death penalty, I hope that China will put to one side the dishonest, unprincipled, British government and media dissembling over Copenhagen and show mercy to Akmal Shaikh, the British man caught smuggling four kilograms of heroin. It now appears he was mentally ill and deserving of clemency.
In the face of extreme provocation by the rich nations who threw a hissy-fit because China wouldn't sign up to their pact condemning the poorer nations to a slumdog future, China would come out of this the better nation if it commuted the death sentence due on 29th December.
It is somewhat laughable to see that Gordon Brown intends appealing to President Hu Jintao on Shaikh's behalf after what he and his muppet Ed Miliband just said about China. If I was Shaikh I'd be praying Brown stayed well out of it because I reckon President Hu won't find Gordon appealing one little bit.
So, Ed, China tried to hijack the summit, did it? George Monbiot presents a different appraisal here.
The Guardian reports Shaikh's lawyer, the renowned anti-death penalty campaigner, Clive Stafford Smith as saying:
Stafford Smith said Shaikh's chances of avoiding a death sentence may be hampered by the row between China and the UK and US at the climate change summit last week in Copenhagen: "Britain and the US chose to make China the scapegoat at Copenhagen which, given US intransigence over the past decade, might be viewed as hypocritical. We very much hope that Akmal Shaikh does not become a victim of the regrettably cold political climate that has resulted."
And that's how ugly politics gets.
UPDATE: Monday 28th 2009. Shaikh has been given the time of his execution, 10:30 (2:30 GMT) tomorrow morning. This is awful as, on top of the whole death penalty debate, it does appear that he is mentally ill. I hope China will show clemency and not make him pay the price of the West's recent politicking.