China sets trial dates for Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor

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China has announced Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, two high-profile Canadian prisoners, will face trial starting Friday.

The Canadian government has issued the following statement, via Marc Garneau, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

“The arbitrary detention of Mr. Kovrig and Mr. Spavor is a top priority for the Government of Canada and we continue to work tirelessly to secure their immediate release.

“Our embassy in Beijing has been notified that court hearings for Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig are scheduled to take place on March 19 and March 22, respectively.

“We believe these detentions are arbitrary, and remain deeply troubled by the lack of transparency surrounding these proceedings.

“Canadian officials are seeking continued consular access to Mr. Spavor and Mr. Kovrig, in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and the China-Canada Consular Agreement, and have also requested to attend the proceedings.

“Canadian officials will continue to provide consular support to these men and their families during this unacceptable ordeal. Due to the provisions of the Privacy Act, no further information can be disclosed.”

More to come…