OTTAWA – The Green Party of Canada condemns the harsh sentences handed down to Canadians by Chinese courts. Robert Schellenberg, originally sentenced to 15 years in prison for drug trafficking, has now been condemned to death. Businessman Michael Spavor, arrested in 2018 on charges of espionage, was found guilty and sentenced yesterday to 11 years in prison.
Former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig, also accused of spying and arrested at the same time as Michael Spavor, is still awaiting sentence. Both Kovrig and Spavor were denied bail and have remained incarcerated, with extremely limited virtual-only access to Canadian diplomats.
“There is no doubt that the severity of both these sentences and the continuing detention of Michael Kovrig have been influenced by political considerations,” said Green Party Leader Annamie Paul. “This is not justice, or respect for the rule of law, and further damages Canada’s diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China.
“The severe sentences imposed on these Canadians, without a fair and impartial process, appears prejudiced and vengeful. We reject these abhorrent sentences and call for an appeal and support all efforts to enforce the rights of these Canadian citizens.”
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