#ChineseCourt; #Canadian; #CanadaChinaRelations #deathpenalty #DrugSmuggling; #AmnestyInternational; #WilliamNee
Ottawa, Jan 14 (Canadian-Media): China's death sentence to a Canadian, Robert Schellenberg on Monday for drug smuggling to China had been condemned by Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada as well as by the human rights groups like Amnesty, media reports said.
Robert Schellenberg (ctre). Image credit: NewYorkTimes
In spite of Schellenberg's previous appeal against his original 15-year sentence for retrial, China's court reportedly decided on execution.
"It is of extreme concern to us as a government, as it should be to all our international friends and allies, that China has chosen to begin to arbitrarily apply the death penalty … as in this case," Trudeau told journalists in capital city Ottawa.
William Nee, a Hong Kong-based China researcher with Amnesty International, was also reportedly horrified as drug-related offenses did not meet the criteria of death penalty.
"This is all the more shocking given the rushed nature of the retrial, and the deliberate way in which the Chinese authorities drew attention to this case," Nee had told Reuters.
“The sudden re-trial and apparent rush to judgment has highlighted the numerous flaws in China’s judicial system. We hope that Robert Schellenberg and his defence counsel are given adequate time to prepare and respond to the prosecution’s new evidence when the case is finally brought up for appeal," said Nee
Canada will always intervene, said Trudeau, when a Canadian is sentenced to death in another country.
According to Amnesty, China executes more people than any other country in the world; however, the number of death sentences imposed and number of executions carried out are shrouded in secrecy.
"The authorities continue to execute a significant number of individuals for drug related and other offences which do not meet the “most serious crimes” threshold to which the use of the death penalty must be restricted under international law."
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)