Some have been jailed for alleged political or religious 'crimes,' others for drug crimes and, in the case of Kovrig and Spavor, allegations of spying
Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, who’ve languished in Chinese prisons for nearly two-and-a-half years, will begin their trials on espionage charges. But while the highest-profile Canadians behind bars in China, they’re just two of the more than 100 Canadians currently detained in China.
The announcement of the commencement of the trials came on the eve of a U.S.-China summit in Alaska on Thursday. Michael Spavor’s trial begins on Friday and Michael Kovrig’s trial on Monday. The updated information on detainees, as of mid-February, was contained in a Senate briefing note obtained by Blacklock’s Reporter.
There are currently 119 Canadians detained in China, held for a variety of reasons. Some have been jailed for alleged political or religious “crimes,” others for drug crimes and, in the case of Kovrig and Spavor, allegations of spying. The briefing note catalogues Canadians held in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, including those in prison, detention centres or medical facilities.