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Guangping Dong, a Chinese human rights activist was accepted as a refugee by Canada in 2015. He was subsequently jailed by China and released in August 2019 and he fled to Vietnam in January 2020. He has been missing in Vietnam since August and his family fears he has been deported to China again.Courtesy of family

The daughter of a Chinese human-rights activist accepted as a refugee by Canada is appealing to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to help free him after Dong Guangping went missing in Vietnam recently.

Katherine Dong, now a citizen of Canada living in Toronto, said she fears her father has since been deported to China. No one has talked to him since he was arrested in August, she said.

Mr. Dong, 64, has already been jailed three times by Beijing for speaking out against Chinese government human-rights violations including the Tiananmen Square massacre.

Mr. Trudeau is headed to Asia for two summits, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) gathering in Phnom Penh, and Group of 20 meetings in Bali.

Ms. Dong urged Mr. Trudeau to find out what happened to her father.

“It has been agonizing to be apart from my father for the past seven years. My mother and I worried about him while he was imprisoned in China,” she said on Thursday. “We worried while he was in hiding in Vietnam, waiting to be resettled to join us in Canada.”

She said the family held out hope that “there was an end in sight,” but recent events have undermined that.

“Now that he has been arrested in Vietnam and very likely handed over to Chinese authorities, we are devastated.”

Ms. Dong said she last talked to her father by phone in June when he was in Vietnam. She said he gave her no indication that “he felt like he was in danger or was being followed.”

She pleaded with Vietnam and China to let her father leave for Canada. “My mother and I have built a new life here in Canada and I have become a Canadian citizen. We want to share that with my father. It is time for us to be together.”

She said Canadian diplomats tell her they can no longer get information from Vietnamese government officials about the case.

Mr. Dong was arrested by authorities in Vietnam on Aug. 24, according to Alex Neve, a senior fellow at the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and former secretary-general of Amnesty International Canada. He said Mr. Dong’s friends in Vietnam relayed that information to supporters in Canada.

The Chinese man has not been heard from since.

Back in 2015, Mr. Dong escaped from China to Thailand with his family. He, his wife and his daughter were recognized as refugees by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and Canada accepted them for refugee resettlement.

Thailand, however, deported Mr. Dong back to China, where he was jailed by Beijing for “inciting subversion of state power” and “illegally crossing a national border,” according to Mr. Neve, who has been working on this case for years.

In the meantime, Mr. Dong’s family flew to Canada and began their life here. His prison sentence in China was 3½ years.

What Thailand did in 2015 – deporting him to China – was illegal under international law, Mr. Neve said. And if Vietnam shipped Mr. Dong back to China this year, it also did so in violation of the rules.

“International law makes it very clear you do not deport a refugee back to the country where they are facing a risk of serious human-rights violations,” Mr. Neve said.

Mr. Dong was freed from a Chinese jail in August 2019 and fled to Vietnam in January 2020, where he remained in hiding for 31 months.

The Canadian government has issued Mr. Dong travel documents to depart for Canada but Ottawa has been unable to convince Vietnamese officials to recognize the papers and grant permission for him to leave, Mr. Neve said.

Canada is now being stymied in its efforts to verify Mr. Dong’s condition.

“He was held incommunicado with no confirmation of his arrest. While Canadian officials were initially getting some reports about his situation, for approximately four weeks now Vietnamese officials have refused to provide any information about his fate, including to the Canadian government,” Mr. Neve said.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly said this week that Canada won’t apologize for speaking up for human rights in China and the rest of Asia.

Asked for comment on the missing human-rights activist, a spokeswoman for the department of Global Affairs said it does not know where he is.

“Officials are working to ascertain his whereabouts, including through diplomatic engagement with both Vietnam and China,” Geneviève Tremblay said.

She said “Canada is deeply worried” for Mr. Dong’s safety and well-being.

“Canada urges the Government of Vietnam to respect his refugee status and its international responsibilities for human rights.”

The Chinese embassy in Ottawa said it could not offer any comment on the case of Mr. Dong.

Vietnam’s embassy in Canada did not immediately respond to a request for comment.