An Australian citizen has been sentenced to death in China on drug charges.
The verdict was announced by the Guangzhou Intermediate People’s Court on June 10. Karm Gilespie, in his 50s, was arrested with 7.5 kilograms of ice in his luggage in 2013 while attempting to leave China through Guangzhou Baiyun Airport. Gilespie’s arrest came before the Australian Federal Police signed the Task Force Blaze agreement with Chinese law enforcement agencies to tackle drug smuggling in 2015. Human rights group Amnesty International believes China is the world’s leading executioner , estimating it to have put thousands of people to death each year. Treason, separatism, spying, arson, murder, rape, robbery, drug and human trafﬁcking and even some cases of corruption all carry the death penalty in China.
Many death sentences in China are for drug charges. „Australia opposes the death penalty, in all circumstances for all people. We support the universal abolition of the death penalty and are committed to pursuing this goal through all the avenues available to us,” the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said. Foreigners previously executed by China for drug charges include a Japanese national in 2014, a Filipina in 2013, and a Briton in 2009. New Zealander Peter Gardner is still awaiting sentencing after allegedly attempting to smuggle methamphetamine out of Guangzhou’s Baiyun Airport in 2014.