Ottawa demands China ‘immediately release’ two Canadians

Louis Huang of Vancouver Freedom and Democracy for China holding photos of Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, who are being detained by China, outside British Columbia Supreme Court, in Vancouver. (File photo: AFP)

Canada on Thursday demanded that China promptly release two of its nationals who were formally arrested following months of detention on national security grounds, amid rising tensions between the two nations.

“Canada strongly condemns their arbitrary arrest as we condemned their arbitrary detention on December 10,” the foreign ministry said in a statement, referring to Canadian ex-diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor, AFP reported.

The statement added: “We reiterate our demand that China immediately release Mr. Kovrig and Mr. Spavor.”

Businessman Michael Spavor, who worked with North Korea, and former diplomat Michael Kovrig were picked up separately in December, shortly after Canada arrested Huawei Technologies Co Ltd Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, who faces extradition to the United States, according to Reuters.

China has repeatedly demanded Meng be released, and has reacted angrily to extradition proceedings against her in a Canadian court.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:55 - GMT 06:55