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US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken (File photo)
US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken (File photo)

US condemns Beijing's sentencing of Canadian citizen Michael Spavor

ANI | Updated: Aug 11, 2021 22:52 IST


Washington [US] August 11 (ANI): The United States on Wednesday condemned Beijing's sentencing of Canadian citizen Michael Spavor, and called for the immediate and unconditional release of all people arbitrarily detained in China.
"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," US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said in a statement.
On Wednesday, Canadian Michael Spavor, detained by China in 2018 was sentenced to 11 years in prison by a Chinese court in Liaoning Province on charges of espionage.
Blinken said that Spavor and Kovrig have not received the minimal procedural protections during their more than two-and-a-half-year arbitrary detention, and the US stand with more than 60 countries, who endorsed the recent Declaration Against Arbitrary Detention in State-to-State Relations.

US Secretary of State also stated that he had raised several cases with Chinese officials of both US and Canadian citizens subject to arbitrary detentions and exit bans in China.
"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 statement said.
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, the statement added.
China detained Spavor in December 2018, a few days after Huawei's Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Vancouver. Along with Spavor, another Canadian national Michael Kovrig was detained. Kovrig is also awaiting a verdict following his trial, which ended in March.
Meanwhile, Canadian nationals - former diplomat Kovrig and businessman Spavor - have been in Chinese detention on espionage charges. (ANI)

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