China executes convicted South African drug smuggler
Dec 12, 2011, 9:00 GMT
Johannesburg - A South African woman was executed in China on Monday following a conviction for drug smuggling, officials in Pretoria confirmed.
Janice Bronwyn Linden, 35, was caught trying to smuggle 3 kilograms of methamphetamine into the country in 2008. She argued in court that she had been framed and had not been aware that the drugs were in her luggage.
South Africa had tried to stop the execution, according to Department of International Cooperation spokesman Clayson Monyela.
'All the necessary interventions were done at every possible level, even the highest ones,' Monyela said.
Linden was allowed to spend an hour with a relative before her execution by lethal injection, at which relatives were present.
Her family said she was likely only informed about the execution hours before, owing to China's policy on revealing such plans in advance.
China is the reportedly the world's most prolific executioner, though exact numbers are hard to pinpoint. Amnesty International estimates that thousands of convicts may be killed by the authorities each year.
Last week, a Filipino drug trafficker was executed in China, despite interventions by that country's president.
In 2010, 23 countries, including the United States and Japan, carried out executions, according to Amnesty.