Akmal Shaikh’s children Leilla Horsnell, Abdul Jabar Shaikh and Imran Shaikh plead for his life

December 22, 2009

Image of Akmal Shaikh

In what could be the last week of Akmal Shaikh’s life, his children have issued a heartrending plea for mercy from the Chinese Government.

Having not previously publicly commented on the case out of respect for the Chinese legal process, they now feel the situation is too desperate to remain silent.

Statement from Akmal’s children:

“We are horribly shocked and upset that our father’s final appeal has been denied and an execution date set. We wish to make a personal and desperate plea to the Chinese Government to spare his life. Our father has been seriously ill for much of his life and we would be devastated to lose him in these circumstances. We respectfully hope that particularly during this holiday season the Chinese people will show their great capacity for compassion and humanity and grant him a reprieve.”

Sally Rowen, Legal Director of Reprieve’s death penalty team said:

“It is impossible not to be moved by the pleas of Akmal’s children for their father’s life. The whole family are distraught at the prospect of Akmal’s execution. This statement reveals that at the heart of this matter is not politics, but a family desperately hoping for some good news this holiday season.”

For more information please contact Clive Stafford Smith (07940 347125; clivestaffordsmith@mac.com) or Reprieve (info@reprieve.org.uk)

Notes for Editors:

Reprieve, a legal action charity, uses the law to enforce the human rights of prisoners, from death row to Guantánamo Bay. Reprieve investigates, litigates and educates, working on the frontline, to provide legal support to prisoners unable to pay for it themselves. Reprieve promotes the rule of law around the world, securing each person’s right to a fair trial and saving lives. Clive Stafford Smith is the founder of Reprieve and has spent 25 years working on behalf of people facing the death penalty in the USA.

Reprieve’s current casework involves representing 33 prisoners in the US prison at Guantánamo Bay, working on behalf of prisoners facing the death penalty, and conducting ongoing investigations into the rendition and the secret detention of ‘ghost prisoners’ in the so-called ‘war on terror.’

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