China upholds death sentence for US citizen over murder charges

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A Chinese court on Thursday upheld the death penalty for a US citizen over the murder of his girlfriend, calling the conviction “accurate” and sentence “appropriate.”

Shadeed Abdulmateen had been found guilty in April of stabbing the 21-year-old woman in the face and neck multiple times when they met to talk about disagreements in their relationship.

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He appealed against the death sentence handed to him at the time.

But a higher court in eastern China on Thursday rebuffed Abdulmateen’s appeal, according to an official statement.

The Zhejiang High People’s Court said Abdulmateen had threatened the woman after she told him multiple times that she wanted to break up.

On the night of the murder in June 2021 they met near a bus stop in Ningbo, about 150 kilometers (90 miles) south of Shanghai.

Abdulmateen turned up with a folding knife and “stabbed Chen’s neck and face multiple times, causing Chen to lose a large volume of blood and die on the spot.”

The court on Thursday said the initial conviction was “accurate, the sentencing was appropriate, and the trial procedure was legal.”

The US embassy in Beijing did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Human rights groups say China executes more prisoners every year than any other country, but executions of Westerners are rare.

The most recent case involving a Westerner is believed to be that of Akmal Shaikh, a British citizen put to death in 2009 for heroin trafficking, according to state news agency Xinhua.

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