This Sept. 5 marks 1,000 days that former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor have been jailed in China in apparent retaliation for the detention of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Canada.
To mark this grim milestone, The Globe and Mail is inviting readers to send us hard copy or digital letters that we will forward to the Chinese embassy in Ottawa. These messages may also be featured in our 1,000 days in detention coverage. Let’s show the two Michaels that Canadians have not forgotten about them.
Throughout their detention, Mr. Kovrig and Mr. Spavor were interrogated in conditions similar to solitary confinement. Initially, guards even seized Mr. Kovrig’s glasses.
Both men were arrested shortly after Canada detained Ms. Meng, daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, in December, 2018, on a U.S. Justice Department extradition request. Ms. Meng is wanted for alleged bank fraud related to violations of U.S. sanctions against Iran.
Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor have been in Chinese jails for 900 days and counting. The story so far
As tensions rise with China, we need to keep old Cold War lessons in mind
In December, 2020, Mr. Spavor wrote a wish list that offers a glimpse of his life in a Chinese detention centre. On the handwritten note, he asks for a new terry cloth headband and wristbands – “any color is good, surprise me :)” – and a new sleep mask. He adds that the latter should be durable because he uses it “2-3 times a day” – an indication that he is kept under 24-hour lighting.
Send your letter or message to:
The Globe and Mail – Attention: Two Michaels
351 King Street East, Suite 1600
Or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
For the two Michaels, the road out of China may go through Washington
With files from Robert Fife, Steven Chase and Nathan VanderKlippe
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story said Sept. 4 marks 1,000 days in detention for Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. The story has been corrected to Sept.5.
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