The detention by China of Michael Kovrig has reached a somber new milestone.
As of Tuesday, it has been 400 days since the Canadian diplomat was detained while on leave from his job and working with the international NGO Crisis Group.
Kovrig was the first of two Canadians detained by China in the days following the arrest by Canadian authorities of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, who is wanted for extradition by the United States. She and her company have since been charged with skirting American sanctions on Iran and stealing corporate secrets.
Michael Spavor, a Canadian entrepreneur, was detained several days after Kovrig and both have been held without access to legal counsel ever since.
Both Kovrig and Spavor have received only intermittent visits with consular officials during more than a year of detainment and are being subjected to reportedly “harsh” conditions, including Kovrig having his reading glasses confiscated and the lights in their cells being left on at all hours.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has repeatedly called for China to release the two Canadians, calling their detentions “arbitrary.”
Lawmakers in the U.S., U.K. and dozens of other allied nations have also condemned China’s detention of the pair and called for their release.
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