By Caribbean News Global
CANADA / USA – Marc Garneau, minister of foreign affairs, and US Department of State issued the following statements:
Global Affairs Canada
“Canada condemns China’s conviction and sentencing of Michael Spavor in the strongest possible terms. This decision is rendered after a legal process that lacked both fairness and transparency, including a trial that did not satisfy the minimum standards required by international law.
We have maintained for more than two and a half years that the detentions of Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig are completely arbitrary. These concerns have been echoed by many other countries who continue to voice their support for these Canadians.
Canada is grateful to the many countries that have joined the call for the release of Canadian citizens arbitrarily detained in China.
“The thoughts of all Canadians are with Michael Spavor and his family following his unjust conviction and ongoing arbitrary detention. Canada continues to explore all avenues to secure Spavor’s release. Securing his release, as well as that of Michael Kovrig, remains our top priority.”
US Department of State
“We stand with the international community in calling for the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to release, immediately and unconditionally, Canadian citizens Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig. We continue to condemn these arbitrary detentions as well as the sentence imposed against Spavor on August 10. Spavor and Kovrig have not received the minimal procedural protections during their more than two-and-a-half-year arbitrary detention, and we stand with more than 60 countries who endorsed the recent Declaration Against Arbitrary Detention in State-to-State Relations.
In my discussions with PRC officials, I have raised several cases of both US and Canadian citizens subject to arbitrary detentions and exit bans in China, and I strongly support the immediate and unconditional release of all those whom the People’s Republic of China has arbitrarily detained. The practice of arbitrarily detaining individuals to exercise leverage over foreign governments is completely unacceptable. People should never be used as bargaining chips.
“The United States also remains deeply troubled by the lack of transparency surrounding these legal proceedings and joins Canada in calling for full consular access to Spavor and Kovrig, in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and the China-Canada Consular Agreement. We call upon PRC authorities to grant the requests of Canadian officials and other foreign diplomats to attend their proceedings.”