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Immigration lawyer fears retaliation from China amid Meng Wanzhou case update

Last Updated May 28, 2020 at 1:36 am PDT

FILE: Michael Kovrig (left) and Michael Spavor, the two Canadians detained in China, are shown in these 2018 images taken from video. U.S. lawmakers in the House of Representatives are being asked to condemn the "abusive" imprisonment of two Canadian men in China. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP

An immigration lawyer says it's not safe to travel to China even if there was no global pandemic to worry about

He's also worried about former diplomat, businessman held against their will in China

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — An immigration lawyer says even if the global pandemic didn’t interfere with travel, it wouldn’t be safe either way for Canadians in China.

Richard Kurland who has no personal connection to the Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou case, says the health of Canadians already being held against their will in China is also at risk.

RELATED ARTICLE: B.C. Supreme Court rules Meng Wanzhou extradition case can go forward

Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, a former diplomat and a businessman, were arrested shortly after Meng’s arrest in December of 2018.

“It’s their lives. Ms. Meng may continue to live her billionaire lifestyle in liberty in Canada — limited by an electronic bracelet. The two Michaels can not even aspire to what Ms. Meng enjoys here in Canada,” Kurland says.

Kurland adds China may accelerate the criminal proceedings for Kovrig and Spavor “in retaliation.”

“On the table is the death penalty in that country.”

He adds the Chinese embassy is already expressing “strong dissatisfaction” with Canada for refusing to release Meng immediately.

“It’s the same playbook. Agricultural products, canola, meat, pork are destined for Chinese sanctions. The warning today: Think twice about getting on a plane to China –” he says, “Not because of COVID — but because of potential retaliatory arrests of Canadian citizens in China.”

Whether he would visit China after this, Kurland answers, “I wouldn’t go.”

On Tuesday the B.C. Supreme Court ruled the Meng extradition case will move forward.

Meng must now remain in the province as the legal battle against her continues, with court dates set through the summer.