March 18, 2021
For Immediate Release
Statement by U.S. Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Katherine Brucker
on the upcoming commencement of trials for Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig
“The United States is deeply alarmed by reports that People’s Republic of China (PRC) authorities are commencing trials for Canadian citizens Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig on March 19 and 22, respectively. We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Canada in calling for their immediate release and continue to condemn the lack of minimum procedural protections during their two-year arbitrary detention.
PRC authorities should grant continued consular access to Mr. Spavor and Mr. Kovrig, in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and the China-Canada Consular Agreement. We also call upon PRC authorities to grant the requests of Canadian officials and other foreign diplomats to attend the proceedings.
As Secretary Blinken said during the launch ceremony for the Declaration Against Arbitrary Detention in State-to-State Relations, which over 50 countries endorsed, the practice of arbitrary detention to exercise leverage over foreign governments is completely unacceptable—human beings should never be used as bargaining chips.”
Molly Sanchez Crowe
U.S. Embassy Ottawa