Canada mounting global effort to free Canadians detained in China

Canada mounting global effort to free Canadians detained in China”

"Canada expects the immediate release of these two Canadians", Freeland said, noting Chinese officials have not publicly connected the Huawei arrest and the detention of the two citizens. "We also express our deep concern for the Chinese government's detention of two Canadians earlier this month and call for their immediate release", Robert Palladino, a spokesperson for the State Department, said in a statement.

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, was arrested while changing planes in Vancouver on December 1 at the request of the United States, which wants her extradited to face charges that she and her company misled banks about the company's business dealings in Iran.

Freeland thanked allies for speaking out and said Canada will not compromise or nor politicise the rule of law. Canada is abiding by its extradition treaty commitments, with full due process, in its arrest of Meng, she added.

The United States alleges Meng lied to American banks about a corporate manoeuvre supposedly created to get around US sanctions against Iran; law-enforcement officials asked Canada to arrest her when she transited through Vancouver on her way to Mexico.

The EU, meanwhile, issued a statement saying, "The declared motive for the arrest and detention of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, both Canadian nationals, raises concerns about legitimate research and business practices in China".

"Canada, a country governed by the rule of law, is conducting a fair, unbiased, and transparent legal proceeding with respect to Ms".

A source familiar with the conditions of Kovrig's detention says he is questioned three times a day and kept in a room with the lights on continuously. He is allowed only one consular visit from Canadian diplomats a month, and family and loved ones can not see him, the reports said.

The Canadians were arrested for what China has said is suspicion of "harm to national security" - a phrase often used by Beijing when alleging espionage. "This is about the rule of law".

The arrest of a third Canadian in China has heightened anxiety even in an expatriate community accustomed to some level of fear and uncertainty.

Canada's ambassador, John McCallum, visited Kovrig Friday, in line with the bilateral agreement between China and Canada that stipulates consular visits must take place within 48 hours of being requested. "We understand that working co-operatively, collectively with allies, is a very effective way for Canada to work in the world and that is what we have been doing", Freeland said.

UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said in a statement that he is "deeply concerned" that Beijing may have detained the two Canadians for political reasons.

"We share with these partners the conviction that the rule of law is not optional, it's the bedrock of our democracy and it's fundamental to all free societies", she said.

The bodies include the European Council on Foreign Relations, the Mercator Institute for China Studies and the Global Public Policy Institute.

The U.K. and European Union also issued statements in support of Canada.

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