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Employer of Canadian still detained in China says '365 days too many'

Last Updated Dec 9, 2019 at 9:56 am PDT

FILE: Michael Kovrig (left) and Michael Spavor, the two Canadians detained in China, are shown in these 2018 images taken from video. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP

Tuesday marks one-year-anniversary of mid-Dec. arrest of Canadians in China

Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor have been imprisoned in China since mid-Dec. of 2018

The two Michaels' arrest is widely viewed as retaliation for detention of Chinese Meng Wanzhou

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – As the one-year-anniversary approaches since the detention of two Canadian men in China, the head of the Crisis Group, which employed one of them, is speaking out.

President of the Washington-based Crisis Group, Robert Malley, says there is no comparison between how a Chinese tech executive, who was arrested at Vancouver International Airport, and two Canadians are being treated.

“In one day it will be one year since Michael [Kovrig] was unjustly detained,” Malley writes in a tweet Monday morning. “That’s 365 days too many. China should release him now.”

Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor have been detained in China since Dec.10 due to allegations of undermining national security, and the two men continue to be held in that country.

The actions taken to detain both Michaels came just nine days after the Canadian arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou last year. It is widely seen as a retaliation.

Meng, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies, was arrested at the request of the United States, which wants her extradited to face fraud charges for allegedly violating sanctions against Iran.

Meng remains out on bail, while living in one of her luxury Vancouver home.

The arrests triggered a diplomatic meltdown between Canada and China, that has also led to the People’s Republic banning some Canadian agricultural products, including canola.

– With files from Marcella Bernardo