China sentences another Canadian to death for drug trafficking

China sentences Canadian to death for drug operation

China sentences Canadian to death for drug operation

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says that she is concerned about the "cruel and inhumane" death sentence China has issued to a Canadian involved in an worldwide drug operation.

The court in southern Guangdong province said on Tuesday that Canadian national Fan Wei, and 10 others, including an American and four Mexicans, were part of an worldwide narcotics syndicate working out of Taishan city between July and November 2012.

Among them were one American and four Mexicans, who were all given life sentences or death sentences suspended by a period of two years.

It did not specify what sentences five of the nine received though it indicated the minimum they got was life in prison.

Though the Canadian was identified as "Fan Wei", it remains unclear whether that is the person's legal name. He and another defendant, Wu Ziping, were found to have played "an organizing and commanding role" and were sentenced to death, along with confiscation of their personal property. "We think that this is a cruel and inhumane punishment which should not be used in any country", Freeland told reporters on Parliament Hill on Tuesday morning.

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"We've very concerned about this sentence", Freeland said.

The Canadian foreign ministry in a statement called on China to grant clemency for Fan.

In a separate drug smuggling case, China sentenced Canadian Robert Lloyd Schellenberg to death in a sudden retrial in January - one month after Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were detained on vague national security allegations.

China says that he was a key member of an worldwide drug trafficking syndicate but Schellenberg claims that he was visiting as a tourist. After Canada complied with a USA extradition request to arrest Huawei executive Meng Wanzho, China has retaliated, detaining two Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor and has banned canola shipments from Canadian producers. That move came just as tensions were escalating between China and Canada over the Vancouver detention of Meng Wanzhou, CFO of Chinese tech giant Huawei who was arrested in December of 2018.

China has also canceled Canadian agribusiness Richardson International Ltd's registration to ship canola to China this year.

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