Chinese court sentences American English teacher to death

Shadeed Abdulmateen was handed a death sentence for the killing of his former girlfriend. Photo: Weibo via scmp
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A court in eastern Chinese city has sentenced a former English teacher at a university in Ningbo to death for killing his girlfriend, South China morning post reported.

Shadeed Abdulmateen was found guilty of stabbing his 21-year-old girlfriend when she tried to end the relationship, according to the media outlet.

Shadeed Abdulmateen, a former English teacher at Ningbo University of Technology from Los Angeles, met the victim, surnamed Chen, in 2019.

Ningbo Intermediate People’s Court ruled that Abdulmateen had lied to Chen that he was divorced, and they soon developed a relationship, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

Abdulmateen threatened Chen, 21, verbally when she tried to end the relationship in May 2021, the court said.

On the night of June 14 that year, Abdulmateen arranged to meet Chen, bringing with him a folding knife and stabbed her several times in the face and neck, resulting in her bleeding to death.

According to CNN, 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.”

CCTV reported that the court had notified US diplomatic staff in accordance with the regulations.

More than 20 local legislators and members of the public in Ningbo attended the hearing. China’s state media did not say whether Abdulmateen would appeal.

The killing triggered public anger, with some accusing the police of being slow to respond because the suspect was a foreigner.

Hu Xijin, former editor-in-chief of nationalistic tabloid Global Times, commented at the time that crimes by foreigners in China have occurred from time to time, and their foreign identity cannot be used as a “protective umbrella for them to escape punishment”.

However, he urged people not to focus on the suspect’s nationality or skin colour to avoid international backlash.

China’s Criminal Law stipulates that the foreign offenders are subject to the same punishments as their Chinese counterparts, except for those who enjoy diplomatic privileges and exemptions.

In recent years, most death sentences handed to foreign nationals in China have involved drug-related crimes.

Over the past decade, people from Uganda, South Korea, Japan and Kenya have received death sentences for drug crimes. In 2016, the Nigerian senate reportedly heard that 120 of its citizens were on death row in China. And in 2019, China handed down a death sentence to a Canadian citizen accused of smuggling drugs, sending shockwaves around the world.

China is the world’s top executioner, CNN reported, citing Amnesty International. Thousands of people are sentenced to death every year in China, and the country does not disclose execution numbers, CNN stated.

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