Canada working with allies to secure release of detainees

China 'Resolutely Opposes' Calls for Release of Detained Canadians

China 'Resolutely Opposes' Calls for Release of Detained Canadians

Trudeau told reporters in Mali that Canada is impressing upon the Chinese how important it is to release detainees Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor.

Canada's top diplomat Chrystia Freeland on Saturday called on allies for support in securing the release of the detained Canadians noting that the arrests are a "worrying precedent" for the entire global community.

In the last few days, officials from the United States, Britain and European Union have joined Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland's complaints about the arrests of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor in apparent retaliation for Meng Wanzhou's arrest in Vancouver.

"We are deeply concerned by the arbitrary detention by Chinese authorities of two Canadians earlier this month and call for their immediate release", Freeland said. The US government made a similar demand.

Canada apprehended the Huawei chief financial officer on December 1, when she was changing planes at Vancouver International Airport, in response to a provisional arrest warrant issued in NY.

Canadian officials arrested Meng, 46, at Vancouver airport on December 1 on the request of USA officials over accusations she violated Iran sanctions between 2009 and 2014. "Michael did not engage in illegal activities nor did he do anything that endangered Chinese national security".

Germany expressed serious concern Sunday about the detention of Canadian nationals in China, a day after Ottawa called on allies for support in securing their release.

Canada only gained consular access to him at a police station on Friday last week, when he was visited for half an hour by the Canadian ambassador and two other Canadian diplomats, the sources said.

But Beijing-based Western diplomats and former Canadian diplomats have said they believed the detention of the Canadians were a "tit-for-tat" reprisal by China.

A third Canadian, a woman named Sarah McIver, was being held pending deportation for working illegally in China.

"I don't know whether you paid attention to the treatment or the human rights of the Chinese citizen who was illegally detained in Canada at the request of the United States?"

"The Chinese side expressed strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition to the statements made by Canada and the US", China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said. At the time of his arrest, he was employed as a North East Asia senior adviser by the International Crisis Group (ICG)-a Brussels-based nonprofit that conducts research on violent conflicts in order to advance policies to resolve them.

Later on Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau restated his concern for Mr. Kovrig and Mr. Spavor, adding that Canadians and people around the world are "extremely disturbed" by China's detention of the pair.

Chinese officials took former diplomat Mr. Kovrig and entrepreneur Mr. Spavor into custody on December 10, just days after China promised retaliation for Canada's arrest of Ms. Meng.

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