Canada has reached an agreement in recent months that has allowed increased family and consular entry for two Canadians detained in China, according to a statement from a foreign ministry spokesman.
To date, the government has only ruled that Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor have been allowed consular entry, without ever mentioning the family.
Trudeau says Canadians’ ‘top priority’ detained amid report of possible Meng deal
While Kovrigs’s wife, Vina Nadjibulla, has spoken of the letters they have exchanged, no further access to the family has been confirmed so far.
Trudeau says Canada is working extremely hard to bring home 2 Michaels from China
The new statement does not provide details beyond the remark that family access has increased. Since no family access has been granted before, any access to their families would be the first for both men since their ban in China began over two years ago.
Spavor and Kovrig were arrested in apparent revenge after Canada infuriated China by arresting Huaweis Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou in December 2018.
Canada did so on the orders of the United States, which had requested her extradition.
Kovrig, Spavor are still in prison. A new campaign wants to bombard Chinese embassies with cards
The news of increased family access for both men comes as reports also emerged Wednesday that Huawei Meng Wanzhous executive family had been authorized by government officials to travel to Canada.
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Ms. Meng’s family was authorized by IRCC officials to travel to Canada, confirmed a statement from Syrine Khoury, a spokeswoman for the foreign minister’s office.
“As in all cases, this decision was made in accordance with Canadian law and in full compliance with current travel OiCs. The arbitrary detention of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor is unacceptable. We continue to call for their immediate release.
Canadians detained in China ‘as very physically and mentally healthy’: Canadian ambassador to China
Since the arrest, Canada-China relations have fallen into a deep freeze. Beyond the retaliatory bans of the two Canadians, China also sentenced Canadian Robert Robert Schellenberg to death following a hastily planned retrial of his conviction of drug smuggling into China just one month after Mengs’ arrest. The government has repeatedly called for relief in his case, but so far it has not been granted.
China also briefly banned imports of Canadian pork and beef, claiming a banned feed supplement was found in a Canadian pork shipment.
Detained Canadian counterpart Michael Kovrig calls on China to release him to the UN
Meanwhile, the government is continuing to demand the release of Spavor and Kovrig.
We will continue to work extremely hard for the safe return of the home of the two Michaels. Two years away is too long to be imprisoned in China, or anywhere else, said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, speaking in French on the December anniversary of the men’s detention.
We will continue to do everything in our power to bring them back.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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