torsdag 25. mars 2021

'Be relentless': What it will take to free two Canadians detained in China

From her home in Toronto, Vina Nadjibulla fields hundreds of emails, texts, and phone calls, all about the only person she really wants to hear from. Nadjibulla's husband, Michael Kovrig, has been detained in China for more than two years, on espionage charges the Chinese government refuses to explain and Canada's Prime Minister says are "trumped up" and politically motivated.

Kovrig's detention -- along with that of fellow Canadian Micheal Spavor -- followed the arrest in Vancouver of Meng Wanzhou, a top executive with Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, who is currently fighting extradition to the United States, where she is wanted on charges of breaching sanctions with Iran.

On Monday, Kovrig's trial finally began in Beijing, but behind closed doors, with journalists and diplomats from more than two-dozen countries refused entry by the Chinese authorities, who said this was because the case involved "state secrets." Over the years, Canada has tried patience, pleas, and more recently concerted pressure, to no avail. Kovrig remains in a Chinese prison, where Nadjibulla said he has showed remarkable resilience and resolve.