Statement on the Treatment of Michael Spavor, Mihael Kovrig and Robert Lloyd Schellenberg

August 13, 2021

The Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China is united in condemnation of the treatment of Canadians Michael Spavor, Michael Kovrig and Robert Lloyd Schellenberg at the hands of the Chinese government.

Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig have been held hostage since 2018 in an attempt to exert pressure on the Canadian government. During this time they are believed to have been subject to torture, sleep deprivation and solitary confinement. Canadian diplomats have been denied regular access to the two Michaels, in a clear violation of consular agreements between the two countries.

The sentencing of Michael Spavor to 11 years in prison for alleged espionage is arbitrary, unsubstantiated and politically motivated. The decision to uphold the death sentence of Robert Lloyd Scehllenberg is further proof of the Chinese government’s exorbitant use of this cruel and inhumane form of punishment. We await the conclusion of Michael Kovrig’s case with great concern.

Democratic countries across the world must act urgently to establish a united front against the Chinese government’s hostage diplomacy. The Chinese government must be held to account for these grave violations of the norms and values that underpin the international rules based order. We applaud all states that have taken this opportunity to demonstrate their solidarity with Canada in this dark moment.

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