China release detained Canadian women

Posted January 01, 2019

A Canadian national who was detained in China after authorities in Canada arrested the CFO of Chinese telecom giant Huawei, Meng Wanzhou, has been released.

The high court in the city of Dalian in the northeastern province of Liaoning will hear the appeal of Robert Lloyd Schellenberg from 2pm (0600 GMT), it said in a statement this week.

Schellenberg played an "important role" in drug smuggling and was potentially involved in global organised drug trafficking activities, said the court, and passed his case back to the lower Dalian court for a retrial without specifying a date.

Global Affairs Canada declined to provide any further information about McIver's return to Canada.

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Canadian government said on Friday, China had released the third Canadian citizen, who was detained in Beijing earlier this month on December 19.

The aunt of an Alberta woman who has been released from custody in China says she believes it was a mistake by her niece's employer that resulted in her arrest.

Ltd. Beijing said Ms. McIver had been held under "administrative punishment" for working in the country illegally. It added that Canadian diplomats were in court for the appeal.

Two other Canadian nationals, former diplomat Michael Kovrig and business consultant Michael Spavor, remain under detention in China on suspicion of "engaging in activities that endangered China's national security".

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A Dalian government news portal said this week Schellenberg had smuggled "an enormous amount of drugs" into China.

Drugs offences are routinely punished severely in China.

The relevant governmental departments confirmed with Global Times Schellenberg's identity as a Canadian citizen. She was contacted by Chinese authorities earlier this month regarding her visa. Hua also added that the teacher's situation was different from the two other Canadian detainees.

China has demanded Canada free Meng, who is fighting extradition to the United States, where she would face fraud charges that carry a maximum sentence of 30 years jail for each charge.

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McIver said her niece like to travel and had been to China before, but only as a tourist.