Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Alarmed by Plight of Detained Falun Gong Practitioner
By Robert Fife and Steven Chase of The Globe and Mail | Dec 20, 2017
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes “very, very personally to heart” the plight of Canadians imprisoned in China and she doesn’t know why Beijing won’t heed Ottawa’s pleas to free them.
“Let me tell you, the Prime Minister takes the consular cases very, very personally to heart,” Ms. Freeland said. “I personally mention them at every opportunity. They are very troubling to me. … It is dreadful for the Canadians jailed in China and it is dreadful for their families.”
The four Canadians are Huseyin Celil, a Uyghur dissident, imprisoned since 2006; Falun Gong practitioner Qian Sun, in jail since February; and British Columbia wine merchants John Chang and Allison Lu. The Richmond couple have been detained since May, 2016, over a custom dispute involving shipments of ice wine that Beijing says were undervalued for duty purposes.
Ms. Freeland said the four Canadians are experiencing a “dreadful” situation in Chinese jails, but she could not explain why China’s rulers turn a deaf ear to Canada’s pleas to free them.
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