EXPIRED: 12/29/09 – Akmal Shaikh, 53, a British national, was wrongly executed by lethal injection by the Chinese government despite pleas from the UK government which said he was mentally ill, bipolar and unfit to stand trial. Wrong place, wrong time, wrong suitcase.
The defense claims that Shaikh was given a suitcase at an airport, and being not completely dealing with a full deck, took possession of the suitcase without question. It’s contents? Heroin.
Upon hearing of the details there has been a public outcry and immediate and very public condemnation by Gordon Brown, Britain’s prime minister.
A father of five, Shaikh, was executed in Urumqi, in China’s Xinjiang province. It is the first execution of a European Union national in China in 50 years. Earlier in the day the Chinese Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Shaikh citing that the UK government failed to provide sufficient proof that Shaikh was suffering from mental illness. A preliminary psychological report concluded that he suffered from “delusional psychosis.”
A few years ago, he left the UK for Poland with the aim of starting an airline. When he got there he got obsessed with the idea that he was going to write a song and record it, and that it would bring about world peace. Someone told him he could get a record deal in China and gave him tickets and a suitcase to take with him. According to family members, Shaikh – who says he did not know that drugs were in the suitcase – travelled to China in the belief that he was going to be helped to begin a career as a singer.
The locals in Poland who recorded the song with Shaikh did it as a lark, knowing full well that it was a misguided effort. It is clear from the recording that Akmal had absolutely no musical talent, no sense of timing and the song itself is childish. But Shaikh was adamant that his song, Come Little Rabbit, was what the world had been waiting for, and he clearly thought this song was going to have a very positive impact on the world.
And perhaps in some way it will.
In Shaikh’s death, perhaps the world will better understand the true nature of bipolar disorder; the impact that decades of drug smuggling into a nation can have on the way a government responds to it; and how little a former superpower can do when a sleeping giant wakes up and says enough is enough.
Come Little Rabbit, Come To Me,
Come Little Rabbit, Let It Be,
Come Little Rabbit, Come & Pray
La Di Da Di Da Di Da