EU, US, Canada demand China release arrested Canadians | News | DW | 21.12.2018

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EU, US, Canada demand China release arrested Canadians

China is holding a former diplomat and a businessman after Canada arrested a prominent Chinese executive. The European Union, the US and Canada are demanding the release of the pair.

The EU, the US and Canada on Friday jointly demanded the release of two Canadians who were arrested in China last week.

Michael Kovrig, a former diplomat and a think thank adviser, and businessman Michael Spavor are being held after Canadian police arrested Huawei Technologies' chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, in relation to sanctions on Iran. The United States is seeking her extradition.

Germany on Sunday expressed serious concern about the detention of the Canadian nationals in China.

"The German government is convinced will ensure that Meng Wanzhou has a fair, unbiased and transparent judicial procedure," the German Foreign Office said in a statement posted to Twitter. "For the two Canadians who have been arrested in China, we urge that they be treated fairly and in compliance with the rule of law." 

Read more: Canadian Foreign Minister Freeland vows to keep politics out of case against Huawei executive

US State Department spokesman Robert Palladino said Meng was facing a "fair, unbiased and transparent" legal proceeding.

"We also express our deep concern for the Chinese government's detention of two Canadians earlier this month and call for their immediate release," he said in a statement.

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

The pair were arrested for "engaging in activities that endanger the national security" of China.

Speaking on the Meng case, Freeland said: "Canada will not compromise nor politicize the rule of law and due process," Freeland said.

"Canada is conducting a fair, unbiased and transparent legal proceeding with respect to Meng Wanzhou," she said, adding that Canada "respects its international legal commitments, including by honoring its extradition treaty with the United States."

The European Union also said it was backing Canada in the detentions dispute.

Meng has been released on bail pending the outcome of an extradition hearing. She has been living in a luxurious house in Toronto, receiving visitors and blogging online, while the Canadians have been stuck behind bars with limited consular access and round-the-clock interrogations.

aw/sms (AP, Reuters, AFP)

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