China Releases Canadian Teacher Detained for Job Violation
Jan 01, 2019, 02:09
Drug offences are routinely punished severely in China.
Further testing tense relations, another Canadian Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, was due to appear before a court in China on drugs charges.
Sarah McIver, an English teacher from Alberta, was arrested by the Chinese authorities over alleged work-permit violations.
The appellate court ruled that the jail sentence handed down by the lower court was "obviously inappropriate" because Schellenberg is accused of "playing an important role" in what may be an global drug smuggling ring, the court's announcement said.
The court ordered the case to return to the trial court, but a retrial date has not been set yet.
It's not clear yet who is representing Schellenberg or when the retrial may take place.
A court in China has ordered a retrial for a Canadian man who was sentenced last month after being found guilty on drug-smuggling charge - potentially adding more pressure to the fraught Canada-China relationship.
Asked about the Canadian's detention at a press conference Thursday, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Hua Chunying said she was "not aware of the specifics of the case".
A Canadian teacher arrested in China for administrative reasons - a case officially unrelated to the ongoing diplomatic row between Beijing and Ottawa - has been freed, authorities said Friday.
McIver's arrest followed those of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, two Canadians living and working in China, on allegations they were harming China's national security. It is not known where the two are being held. It did not elaborate.
China also sentenced a Filipina drug trafficker to death in 2013, according to the Philippine foreign department, ignoring Manila's request to spare her life.
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Days later, two Canadians were detained in Beijing for allegedly endangering China's national security. She says Canadians who study or do business in China may want to "lie low and keep a low profile".
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