China Claims Canadian Detainees Freed due to Health Concerns

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said that two Canadian prisoners who were permitted to fly back to Canada have been granted bail due to health concerns. 

The Canadians, Michael Spavor and Michael Korvig were arrested in December 2019 after Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou was reprimanded at U.S. officials’ request due to bank fraud under the U.S.-Canada bilateral agreement.

Meng contested the request to be deported to Canada. She arrived in China on Saturday, September 25, after bargaining with the U.S. Justice Department, and a prisoner swap was initiated. 

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said that Kovrig and Spavor’s case differed from Meng’s, as the two Canadians allegedly compromised national security. However, Canada defended Kovrig and Spavor in the United Nations General Assembly and expressed that they opposed how the two were treated. 

Hua said that China released the Canadians on bail after professional medical institutions confirmed a diagnosis, with the assurance of the Canadian ambassador to China. Hua did not specify the health concern.


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