Michael Kovrig granted phone call by China with ill father amid coronavirus pandemic

The Chinese embassy in Canada says Michael Kovrig has been allowed to have a telephone conversation with his father, who is very ill.

The embassy says in a statement that they allowed this for humanitarian reasons.

The embassy says they have also provided better food to Kovrig and fellow Canadian detainee Michael Spavor to strengthen their immunity in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Kovrig, a diplomat on leave who was working with the International Crisis Group, and Spavor, an entrepreneur, have been imprisoned in China since December 2018 in what is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou nine days earlier.

Today’s Chinese statement also maintains the hardline take by Beijing since the events of December 2018, which have plunged Sino-Canadian relations to a new low.

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