American citizen Shadeed Abdulmateen was sentenced to death in China on Thursday over intentional homicide of his girlfriend, state media reported. The convict stabbed his 21-year-old former girlfriend multiple times in her face and neck last year.
Shadeed, who taught at the Ningbo University of Technology, was in a relationship with a Chinese woman surnamed Chen, according to Chinese state media. Shadeed arranged a meeting at a bus stop in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, after the couple had an argument over their breakup in June 2019. He then proceeded to stab her with a "folding knife," according to the Ningbo Intermediate People's Court in its verdict.
The court said on Thursday, "from mid to late May 2021, Chen proposed breaking up many times, but Shadeed did not agree and made verbal threats to her."
As per the China Central Television (CCTV) the court held that the defendant's "premeditated revenge killing, stabbing and cutting Chen's face and neck several times, resulting in Chen's 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."
There have been no comments received from the US Embassy but the US State Department stated that the situation is being monitored closely. On account of privacy considerations, no more comments were made, according to a Reuters report.
Human rights groups deem China as the world's top executioner. Even though the country never reveals its execution numbers considering it a state secret, the human rights groups believe that Chinese execution numbers far exceed other countries every year. That being said executions of Westerners are very uncommon.
The two most known cases in the recent years were a Pakistani-British businessman Akmal Shaikh, who was convicted for illegally trafficking approximately 4 kg of heroin in 2009 and a Canadian citizen Robert Schellenberg, who was sentenced in 2019 for drug smuggling.
In the last decade, punishment for drug crimes have had the largest number of people from Uganda, South Korea, Japan and Kenya receive death sentences. The Senate of Nigeria revealed in 2016 that there were apparently 120 Nigerian citizens on death row in China.
Beijing, however, has made it known that there are no exceptions for drug offenders and it does not matter if westerners awaiting execution belong from countries with which the Chinese have good relations.