Canadians detained in China are “in good health”, says Beijing

Les Canadiens détenus en Chine sont «en bonne santé», assure Pékin

BEIJING | China said on Wednesday that the two Canadians detained in the asian country for more than 500 days on the background of the diplomatic crisis in bilateral were ” in good health “.

This statement comes in a context of suspension of visits consular in chinese jails because of the risks associated with the COVID-19.

Michael Kovrig, an ex-diplomat, as well as the consultant and businessman Michael Spavor, a specialist on North Korea, had been arrested on 10 December 2018 by the China. They have since been incarcerated.

Their arrest is widely seen in the West as a retaliation after the arrest in Canada a few days earlier of a senior executive of telecom giant Huawei, Meng Wanzhou, at the request of the United States.

The american authorities accuse him of fraud and circumventing the sanctions imposed by Washington against Iran. They ask for his extradition to the United States.

The canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday last to the 500th day of detention of the two Canadians, that the visits of consular had been suspended due to the confinement in the prisons of china.

When asked about their state, a spokesman of the chinese ministry of foreign Affairs, Geng Shuang, has assured Wednesday that they were ” in good health “.

“We will continue to protect their rights and legal interests “, he stressed at a regular press conference.

Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor had the right to visits of consular monthly. But “in order to ensure the safety of prisoners, the chinese authorities have temporarily suspended,” said Mr. Geng.

According to him, they will resume when the situation of the epidemic will improve.

The new coronavirus, detected for the first time in the city-the epicenter of Wuhan (central China), has already killed more than 215,000 people in the world.

The two Canadians ” are in an establishment (…) of a region that is not particularly affected by the COVID-19 “, had said last week Justin Trudeau.

Michael Kovrig is suspected of having collected State secrets and information overseas. Michael Spavor is suspected of stealing and illegally delivered State secrets to other countries.

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