China sentences US citizen to death

By Alma Fabiani

Published Apr 26, 2022 at 11:04 AM

Reading time: 1 minute

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A Chinese court sentenced American citizen Shadeed Abdulmateen to death on Thursday 21 April for allegedly murdering his former girlfriend, a 21-year-old Chinese woman surnamed Chen, according to Chinese state media.

After a disagreement over their breakup in June 2019, Abdulmateen, who taught at the Ningbo University of Technology (NBUT), arranged to meet and talk with Chen at a bus stop in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, before killing her with a “folding knife,” said the Ningbo Intermediate People’s Court in its verdict.

According to CNN, by looking at public broadcaster CCTV, the court held that the defendant’s “premeditated revenge killing, stabbing and cutting Chen’s face and neck several times, resulting in her death, was motivated by vile motives, resolute intent and cruel means, and the circumstances of the crime were particularly bad and the consequences particularly serious, and should be punished according to law.”

As reported by Yahoo! News, a US State Department official said the situation was being monitored but refused to comment further in the interest of privacy.

In a 2020 review conducted by Amnesty International, China was found to be the world’s top executioner, but the country, itself, doesn’t actually disclose death penalty numbers. The review used information including official figures, judgements and media reports, alongside information from families and civil societies, in its findings.

Agnes Callamard, the secretary-general of Amnesty International, said in a statement at the time: “As the world focused on finding ways to protect lives from COVID-19, several governments showed a disturbing determination to resort to the death penalty and execute people no matter what.”

“The death penalty is an abhorrent punishment and pursuing executions in the middle of a pandemic further highlights its inherent cruelty,” Callamard continued.

Over the past decade, people from Uganda, South Korea, Japan and Kenya have received death sentences for drug crimes. In 2016, the Nigerian senate reportedly heard that 120 of its citizens were on death row in China. And in 2019, China handed down a death sentence to a Canadian citizen accused of smuggling drugs, sending shockwaves around the world.

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