Australian Man Detained in China Since 2013 Sentenced to Death

June 13, 2020 Updated: June 16, 2020

An Australian man has been sentenced to death in China for alleged drug smuggling.

Cam Gillespie was arrested with more than 7.5 kilograms of methamphetamine in his check-in luggage in 2013 while attempting to board an international flight from Baiyun Airport in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou.

The Guangzhou Intermediate People’s Court also ordered that all of Gillespie’s personal property be confiscated, news agency DPA reported.

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was providing consular assistance to Gillespie.

“We are deeply saddened to hear of the verdict made in his case,” a DFAT spokesperson said in a statement.

“Australia opposes the death penalty, in all circumstances for all people. We support the universal abolition of the death penalty and are committed to pursuing this goal through all the avenues available to us.

“Owing to our privacy obligations we will not provide further comment.”

In 2019, a communist Chinese court sentenced a Canadian man to death on drug trafficking charges after his previous 15-year prison sentence was deemed too lenient, deepening a diplomatic rift as Canadian premier Justin Trudeau accused Beijing of “arbitrarily” using capital punishment.

China imposes the death penalty for drug smuggling, and executions are usually carried out by firing squad.