South Asia and Beyond

After Two Yrs In Chinese Jails, Two Canadians To Face Trial

Two Canadian nationals who have been in Chinese prisons after they were arrested over two years ago on suspicion of spying will go on trial in the coming days.

“Our embassy in Beijing has been notified that court hearings for Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig are scheduled to take place on March 19 and March 22, respectively,” said Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau.

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The duo was arrested in December 2018 just days after Canada detained Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou on a U.S. extradition request. The arrests of the two Canadians are widely seen as a retaliatory measure for Meng’s detentions but Beijing claims otherwise.

Canada has called the detentions of its nationals arbitrary and remains ‘deeply troubled by the lack of transparency surrounding these proceedings’, said Garneau.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sought U.S. support when he spoke to President Joe Biden during a video call last month. Biden assured to work together “till we get their safe return”, “Human beings are not bartering chips,” said Biden.