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'Cruel and inhumane': Freeland slams China for death sentence against Canadian

Last Updated Apr 30, 2019 at 7:04 pm MDT

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – The federal government is speaking out about another Canadian being sentenced to death by a Chinese court.

“We’re very concerned by this sentence,” Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Chrystia Freeland, said ahead of Tuesday’s cabinet meeting. “Canada stands firmly opposed to the use of the death penalty everywhere around the world.”

The Canadian, who has been identified as Fan Wei, is one of at least six people who was accused of involvement in an international methamphetamine operation. A court in southern Guangdong province sentenced them as part of a group accused of producing more than 63 kilograms of methamphetamine.

“We think this is a cruel and inhumane punishment, which should not be used in any country,” Freeland added. “We are obviously particularly concerned when it is applied to Canadians.”

One American and four Mexicans were all given life or death sentences, suspended by a period of two years.

Back in January, another Canadian — Robert Schellenberg — was sentenced to death in a hasty re-trial of his drug smuggling case.

That came one month after Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were detained on vague national security allegations, widely seen as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese telecom executive Meng Wanzhou, who was detained at Vancouver International Airport at the request of the U.S.