The Fight for life as Australian man is sentenced to death in China

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Family and friends of Australian Man sentenced to death in China For drug trafficking are asking to spare his Life

An Australian man has been sentenced to death in China after he was arrested at Guangzhou Baiyun Airport when 7.5 kilograms of the drug Methamphetamine, also commonly Known as ice was found in his luggage as he attempted to leave the country.

Karm Gilespie has already served seven years in prison after his arrest on the drug charge in 2013. Gilespie, a Victorian who is in his 50’s was feared missing by family and friends after his arrest.

“We spent a few years trying to find out how he could disappear so suddenly and so entirely. After that, we resigned ourselves to the idea that he had left because he wanted to start a new life.” Said Roger Hamilton, a friend of Gilespie.

Mr Hamilton claims Gilespie was duped into carrying the drugs. “Knowing the love he had for his wife and his children, he did not deserve to lose his life,” he said on Facebook.

“This is not right. This is not fair. This is not humanity.”

Family and friends of Gilespie have launched a campaign urging the federal government to help secure his freedom. Gilespie, was an Australian actor with television credits in Blue healers and The Man as well as a motivational speaker.

“He had been an active member of our community, encouraging others to be the best they could be. He was always there for others, which was why it was so strange that he suddenly disappeared.”

According to his LinkedIn profile, Gilespie moved into motivational speaking after his acting career tapered off. His profile also listed experience as a business coach training people in property development, wealth dynamics, and marketing.

China does not disclose how many executions it carries out each year, with human rights organisation Amnesty international estimates more than 1,000 death sentences are carried out in the country annually.

According to the Chine opaque judicial system Gilespie has 10 days to initiate appeal proceedings.

The department of foreign affair and trade revealed it will be lending support to an Australian man facing the death penalty in China and further adding, “We are deeply saddened to hear of the verdict made in his case,” it said in a statement. “Australia opposes the death penalty, in all circumstances for all people.”

The last Australians to be handed the death sentenced in China for a drug offence are Henry Chhin who in 2004 tried to traffic 270 grams of methamphetamine to Sydney And Ibrahim Jalloh who allegedly tried to traffic 2kg of Methamphetamine from China to Australia. 

There is still a chance Mr. Gilespies life could be spared, In the past China has suspended death sentences to international prisoners who were charged with similar drug offences.