Sun, 20 Jun 2021

Vancouver [Canada], July 5 (ANI): Dozens of protestors gathered outside the Chinese consulate in Vancouver on Saturday (local time), calling for the release of detained Canadians in China.

Protestors majorly belonging to the Vancouver-based 'Friends of India' organisation demanded the release of Canadians -- Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig -- who have been held in China for more than a year -- must be released immediately.

The demonstrators carried placards that read "We stand with India" and "China against democracy".

Some of them also waved a flag of Tibet amid handwritten posters showing "Tibet is not part of China" and "Free the Panchen Lama".

Former diplomat Kovrig and businessman Spavor have been detained in China since their arrest in December 2018.

The "two Michaels" as they are often referred to are widely seen to be pawns in a diplomatic row between the two countries that began with the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on December 1, 2018.

Beijing was incensed over Meng's arrest and demanded her immediate release, but Canada did not comply. Ten days later, Kovrig and Spavor were arrested.

The pair have languished in jail for 18 months without official charges. (ANI)

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