China release detained Canadian women


Drugs offences are routinely punished severely in China.

Global Affairs Canada, the government department that manages Ottawa's diplomatic and consular relations, confirmed that the Canadian teacher is back home without naming the person.

China detained Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor separately after Canada arrested Sabrina Meng Wanzhou, CFO for the Chinese technology company Huawei, in Vancouver on December 1, for possible extradition to the US.

The maximum penalty for drug trafficking in China is death.

"I have taken note of the notice that an appeal on the drug-smuggling charges against Robert Lloyd Schellenberg will be heard by Liaoning Higher People's Court", China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said when asked to respond on the Canadian's case.

A Dalian government news portal said Schellenberg was a Canadian and that this was an appeal hearing after he was found by an earlier ruling to have smuggled "an enormous amount of drugs" into China.

Since then, China has arrested two Canadians on charges of endangering national security in what appeared to be retaliation.

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In 2009, China executed a Briton, Akmal Shaikh, on charges of smuggling heroin despite his supporters' protest that he was mentally ill.

"Global Affairs can confirm that a Canadian citizen, who was detained in China this month, has been released and has now returned to Canada".

When McIver arrived in China, the school she was supposed to teach at no longer had work for her, so Chinese authorities gave her a job somewhere else, according to Rhona.

The other two are a Canadian diplomat on leave and a Canadian businessperson trading with North Korea.

Meng is sought by the USA for allegedly lying to banks as part of an effort to evade sanctions on Iran.

Neither China nor Canada has drawn a direct connection between the Meng case and the cases of the two other Canadians.

The official website of the court released a statement on Wednesday saying the court will accept the appeal of the defendant Schellenberg at 2pm local time Saturday.