May 24th, 2019

Feds ‘deeply concerned’ by China’s arrests of Canadians Kovrig, Spavor

By The Canadian Press on May 16, 2019.

Flags of Canada and China are seen prior to a meeting of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on Dec. 5, 2017. China has formally arrested two Canadian citizens it's been holding since December in an apparent effort to pressure Canada into releasing a Chinese telecom executive. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Fred Dufour, Pool Photo

OTTAWA – Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says the government is “deeply concerned” about China’s decision to formally arrest two Canadians citizens it has been holding since December.

Goodale says the move is an “arbitrary action” and that Canada will continue to demand the appropriate treatment of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor.

He says no evidence has been produced to indicate any validity to allegations made against them.

A Chinese foreign-ministry spokesperson says Kovrig and Spavor have been arrested for stealing state secrets but provided no further details.

Kovrig is a former Canadian diplomat and expert at the International Crisis Group and Spavor is a businessman with lengthy experience in North Korea.

Both were arrested on Dec. 10 after a senior executive with Chinese telecom giant Huawei was arrested in Vancouver on Dec. 1 at the request of U.S. authorities, who want her extradited to face fraud charges.

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