China asks Canada to respect rule of law in Schellenberg case

China asks Canada to respect rule of law in Schellenberg case

China asks Canada to respect rule of law in Schellenberg case

Written by Reuters

16 Jan, 2019 | 3:41 pm

Reuters – China’s Foreign Ministry asked Canada on Wednesday (January 16) to respect the spirit of the rule of law, after Canada requested for clemency for one of its citizens who was sentenced to death for drug smuggling in China.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said Ottawa had formally applied for clemency for Canadian Robert Schellenberg, as it usually does in the cases of citizens condemned to death abroad.

The United Nations said it was opposed to the death penalty apart from exceptional circumstances and Australia’s acting foreign minister Simon Birmingham said he was “deeply concerned” by the case.

“I can very clearly state that we are not worried in the slightest,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said when asked if she was concerned over the mounting international outcry, adding that the majority of the public supported severe punishment for drug crimes, given the serious social harm they caused.

Drug smuggling is punished severely in China, and foreigners convicted of drug crimes have been executed before, including a Briton in 2009.

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