Canadian government demands immediate release of citizens detained in China

Dec 22 2018, 5:42 am

The federal government is calling for the immediate release of two Canadians being detained in China.

“We are deeply concerned by the arbitrary detention by Chinese authorities of two Canadians earlier this month and call for their immediate release,” said Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland, in a statement.

Former Canadian diplomat, Michael Kovrig, and businessman Michael Spavor were detained in China earlier this month.

There has been speculation that Korvig and Spavor’s detainment was done in retaliation by China over Canada’s role in arresting Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, but the Canadian Government has not confirmed this.

Meng was arrested at Vancouver International Airport on December 1, while she was transferring flights and is being sought for extradition to the US.

On December 23, CNN reported that Le Yucheng, China’s vice minister of foreign affairs said Meng’s arrest was “lawless, reasonless and ruthless.”

Meng’s bail was set at $10 million, with $7 million of that to be made in cash. She’s also expected to be back in BC Supreme Court court on February 6, 2019, for further proceedings.

Freeland did state that Canada is conducting “fair, unbiased and transparent legal proceeding with respect to Meng Wanzhou.”

“Canada respects its international legal commitments, including by honouring its extradition treaty with the United States,” she said. “The rule of law is fundamental to all free societies; we will defend and uphold this principle.”

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