Foreign Affairs Francois-Philippe Champagne is among the many western politicians condemning the latest crackdown in Hong Kong with the expulsion of pre-democracy lawmakers. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang)

Second Canadian in two days sentenced to death in China

Another Canadian was sentenced to death in China on Friday–the second such sentence in two days and fourth in less than two years–and Ottawa says it is “profoundly concerned” about what’s going on.

“We oppose the death penalty at every step of the way,” Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne said in an interview on CBC’s Power and Politics.

“We have said it time and time and time again to the Chinese government and will continue to do that.”

Champagne made the comments Thursday after Canadian Xu Weihong was handed the death penalty on charges of manufacturing the drug ketamine– by the Guangzhou Municipal Intermediate Court, in Guandong province and before Ye Jianhui was found guilty of manufacturing and transporting illegal drugs by the Foshan Municipal Intermediate Court, also in Guangdong.

The court statement gave no further details of the charges against Ye and the others.

However, The Associated Press reports the website of the Yangcheng Evening News based in the neighboring metropolis of Guangzhou said Ye and co-defendant Lu Hanchang conspired with others to manufacture and transport drugs between May 2015 and January 2016.

Police seized roughly 218 kilograms (480 pounds) of white crystals infused with the designer drug MDMA from a room used by the two, and found another 9.84 grams of the drug in bags and residences used by Lu and others, the newspaper said.

Death sentences are automatically referred to China’s highest court for review.

A young man holds a sign bearing photographs of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor outside B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver, where Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was attending a hearing, on January 21. The men have now been imprisoned for over 600 days. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

The sentences come as Canada continues to press for the release of ex-diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor–Canadians detained in China just days after Canadian officials arrested Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of telecom giant Huawei, at the request of U.S. authorities in December 2018. 

In January, 2019, shortly after Meng was detained, Robert Lloyd Schellenberg was also given a death sentence after a rapid retrial, prompting condemnation from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and plunging relations between the two countries to a new low.

The following April, Fan Wei was sentenced to death for producing and trafficking a large amount of methamphetamine in a multinational drug smuggling case.

Both men have lodged appeals.

As is the case with Kovig and Spavor, Beijing maintains the sentencing of the Canadians has nothing to do with Meng’s detention.

Last month, lawyers for Meng asked a Canadian court to stay extradition proceedings against her, claiming U.S. President Donald Trump has “poisoned” the judicial process and undermined its integrity and fairness.

With files from The Associated Press, RCI

Categories: International, Society
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

For reasons beyond our control, and for an undetermined period of time, our comment section is now closed. However, our social networks remain open to your contributions.