According to a statement from a spokesperson for the foreign affairs minister, Canada has recently obtained agreements in the latest months that have further allowed for increased family and consular access for two Canadians being detained in China.
To date, the government has only shared that Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor have been granted consular access without ever mentioning the family.
While Kovrig’s wife, Vina Nadjibulla has spoken about the letters that they have so far exchanged, no further access to the family has been confirmed to date.
Moreover, the new statement provides no details beyond noting that family access has increased. Given that no family access has been ever granted before, therefore any access to their families would be a first for the two men since their detention I China began over two years back.
Spavor and Kovrig were reportedly detained in apparent retaliation after Canada had infuriated China by arresting Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou back in December 2018.
Canada did so at the request of the United States which had thereby requested her extradition.
The news of the increased family access for the two men comes as reports emerged on Wednesday that the Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou’s family had been authorized by government officials to travel to Canada.
A statement from Syrine Khoury, a spokesperson for the office of the foreign affairs minister has confirmed that Ms. Meng’s family was authorized by IRCC officials to travel to Canada.
He also added that as in all other cases, this decision was made in accordance with the Canadian laws and also in strict compliance with the current travel OiCs. The arbitrary detention of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor is fully unacceptable and that they shall continue to call for their immediate release.
Ever since the arrest, the Canada-China relation has plunged into a deep freeze. Beyond the retaliatory detentions of the two Canadians, China has also sentenced Canadian Robert Robert Schellenberg to die after a hastily scheduled retrial of his drug smuggling conviction in China that happened just one month after Meng’s arrest.
Moreover, the government has repeatedly called for clemency in his case, but however, so far it has not been granted.
Additionally, China has also briefly banned imports of Canadian pork and beef and has claimed a banned animal feed additive that was found in a shipment of Canadian pork.
Meanwhile, the government is still continuing to push for the release of Spavor and Kovrig.
Speaking in French o the December anniversary of the men’s detention, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said that they shall continue to work extremely hard for the safe return to the home of the two Michaels. Being away for two years is much too long to be imprisoned in China, or anywhere for that reason.
He concluded by saying that they shall continue to do everything in their power to bring them back.