Greens call for charges against Meng Wanzhou to be dropped

July 15, 2020

OTTAWA – The Green Party of Canada is calling on the federal government to demand that the United States drop criminal charges against Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou and withdraw its extradition request so that Canada can release her. Meng Wanzhou was detained on December 1, 2018.

“The Trump administration abused the extradition treaty for political purposes,” said Green Party foreign affairs critic Paul Manly (MP, Nanaimo-Ladysmith). “This became clear when President Trump offered to exchange Ms. Meng’s release for concessions in a trade deal. The U.S. administration can choose to pursue the Huawei corporation or bring a civil case against Meng for violating Iranian sanctions but Canada cannot continue to be used as a pawn in a trade dispute between the United States and China.

“We respect the rule of law and the extradition treaties we have negotiated with other countries. We stand by those principles but we need to know that those countries are not going to abuse the rule of law for political purposes. That is what has happened in this case.”

The Green Party has consistently called for improved human rights and democratic development in China, citing China’s occupation of Tibet and the treatment of religious minorities, the Uyghur concentration camps, and most recently on the new security law in Hong Kong. Closer trade relations with China must be contingent on improving human rights, the rule of law and democratic development.

“We must not take steps that further endanger Canadians in the People’s Republic of China with the message that kidnapping our citizens works,” said Green parliamentary leader Elizabeth May (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands). “The U.S. is supposed to be our closest friend, trading partner and ally. It has abused that friendship, our trust and our extradition treaty. Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor are the innocent victims of Trump’s reckless disregard for Canadian interests.

“It’s time for the Canadian government to stand up to the U.S. administration and demand that it drop the criminal charges and extradition request against Meng so that we can release her. We must make it clear that we will not be bullied by China or by the White House and that the next time the U.S. tells us there is an urgent reason to arrest a foreign national, we will insist on more and better evidence.”

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