The family of a mentally ill Briton facing the death penalty in China have appealed for his life to be spared.
Akmal Shaikh, 53, from North London, is facing execution after around £250,000 worth of heroin was found in a suitcase he was carrying in China in September.
When arrested he told Chinese authorities that the suitcase did not belong to him and he knew nothing about the drugs.
It was announced he had lost an appeal he made against charges in May and his case will now be passed to the Supreme People's Court for review.
If that appeal fails he will be killed immediately
Mr Shaikh's family in London say he suffers from severe mental illness and has a history of erratic behaviour.
Akbar Shaikh, Akmal’s brother, said: "My brother Akmal has struggled for many years with what we now know to be a serious mental illness.
"We are all very worried for Akmal’s safety as we know he is unable to defend himself properly.
"He will be extremely disorientated and distressed right now. We are praying that the Chinese courts will see that he is not of sound mind, and prevent his execution.”
Mr Shaikh claims he was recruited in a criminal operation involving figures in Poland, Kyrgystan and Tajikistan.
His defence was that he was duped by the gang and had no knowledge of the drugs.
Mr Shaikh has always maintained that the gang promised him pop stardom and he went to China with this in mind.
When he was arrested he cooperated fully with the police and helped set up a sting operation to catch the people he said were behind the drugs. No one was found.
Despite being given evidence of his mental illness, Chinese authorities have refused to carry out a mental assessment on Shaikh or take his mental illness into account.
Actor and presenter Stephen Fry - who suffers from bi-polar disorder - is among those supporting calls for the Chinese Government to spare Mr Shaikh's life and it is believed the subject was raised by Gordon Brown to Chinese President Hu Jintao at the recent G20 summit in Pittsburgh.
Legal-action charity Reprieve is representing Mr Shaikh and say the possibility of him being killed is real.
Sally Rowen, legal director, death penalty, Reprieve, said: "For emotionally disturbed people like Akmal Shaikh, the experience of imprisonment can be highly traumatic.
"I am concerned about the wellbeing of Akhmal Shaikh, and I hope the Chinese authorities will recognise that he is vulnerable and may need medical treatment.
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