UK Backs Canadian Initiative Against State-Sponsored Arbitrary Detention

Britain announced on Monday that it had joined a Canadian-led initiative to condemn and deter state-sponsored arbitrary detention of foreign nationals for political purposes. By joining the initiative, the UK government is “doing more to safeguard the rights of British people abroad,” the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) said in a press release. The UK, along with 55 allies, backed a new international declaration initiated by Canada that has sought global support to free Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, who are spending their 798th day in Chinese prisons today. Kovrig, a former Canadian diplomat working for the non-governmental International Crisis Group, and Spavor, an entrepreneur specialising in exchanges with North Korea, were rounded up by Chinese authorities nine days after Canadian police arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou at Vancouver airport in December 2018. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said, “The practice of arbitrarily detaining individuals as leverage over another government …

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