South Asia

China executes Pakistani man on drugs charges

Sayed Zahid Husain Shah
Image caption Mr Shah's supporters say he was framed for a crime he did not commit

China has executed a Pakistani man, Zahid Husain Shah, despite last-ditch appeals for clemency, his family says.

Mr Shah, 35, was arrested in 2008 and was convicted last year of drug smuggling.

He was put to death by lethal injection in Shanghai on Wednesday morning.

Human rights groups had called on Beijing to stop the execution and urged Islamabad to take up appeals on his behalf. There was no comment from either government.

Relatives were allowed one last meeting with Mr Husain at Shanghai Detention Centre on Wednesday morning.

His cousin, Tasneem Fatima, told the BBC the family expects to travel back to Pakistan later this week, once his body has been returned to them.

The last thing he told her was that he was innocent, she said.

Four other Pakistanis arrested with Mr Shah were sentenced to life imprisonment.

According to Mr Husain's relatives, he was framed for a crime he did not commit.

"Executing someone for drug-related offences violates internationally accepted standards for imposing the death penalty," said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International's Asia-Pacific director.

The human rights group argues that no-one sentenced to death receives a fair trial in China, where thousands of executions for drug trafficking take place every year, more than the rest of the world combined.

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