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Wife of former Canadian diplomat held in China hopeful he can come home soon

Last Updated Dec 10, 2020 at 5:28 pm PDT

FILE - In this March 28, 2018, file image made from video, Michael Kovrig, an adviser with the International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based non-governmental organization, speaks during an interview in Hong Kong. China told Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday, June 22, 2020 to “stop making irresponsible remarks” after he said Beijing's decision to charge two Canadians with spying was linked to his country's arrest of a Chinese tech executive. (AP Photo, File)
Summary

Michael Kovrig's wife says ays her husband is coping by reading books, meditating, exercising, and reciting song lyrics

Kovrig's wife, Vina Nadjibulla, says her husband is an innocent man, arrested only because he is Canadian

NEW YORK (NEWS 1130) — On the second anniversary of two Canadians being detained in China, the wife of one of those imprisoned men says she has hope her husband will come home soon.

Michael Kovrig, a former diplomat currently working in humanitarian aid, and businessman Michael Spavor remain locked up in what’s believed to be retaliation for the Vancouver arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

Kovrig’s wife, Vina Nadjibulla, says her husband is coping by reading books, meditating, exercising, and reciting song lyrics.

“He’s been able to keep hope alive and one of the reasons he’s able to do that is because he’s reminded he’s not alone. People have not forgotten him. The world is fighting for his liberty. This is not how states should conduct their foreign policy.”

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Speaking on a podcast with Kovrig’s colleagues at Crisis Group Nadjibulla says the only contact Kovrig has had with Canadian consular staff since the pandemic started has been one 30-minute virtual session in October and another in November.

“In his letters to me, he often says, ‘News of our friends and colleagues from the outside helps me stay strong and keeps hope alive’ and I just continue to take one step in front of the other and I know we will prevail.”

She adds Kovrig’s movements are heavily monitored.

“Michael is an innocent man. He is in this unjust imprisonment for no fault of his own and for no other reason than for being a Canadian citizen. This is taking a toll on him and on us. We really, really hope there’s going to be a resolution soon.”

Nadjibulla says incoming US President Joe Biden may be more willing to work with the government of Canada to bring both Michaels home– possibly in exchange for sending Meng back to China.