Sunday, April 29, 2007

Amnesty urges Canada to send envoy to China

Last Updated 27/04/2007, 13:33:01
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Amnesty International has urged Canada to name a special envoy to seek the liberation of a Chinese-born Canadian sentenced to life in prison in China.

Alex Neve, secretary general of Amnesty International Canada, says it is vital to appoint a special envoy who would lead and coordinate Ottawa's efforts to free 37 year old Huseyin Celil.

China's announcement last week of the sentence against the ethnic Uighur on separatism and terrorism charges, during a closed trial, has sparked tensions between Ottawa and Beijing.

AFP reports that Celil's wife, Kamila Telendibaeva, says Celil was extradited from Uzbekistan to China during a trip in May 2006 where he vanished into Chinese custody.

Celil arrived in Canada in 2001 as a refugee after fleeing China, and became a Canadian citizen.

China tells Canada not to meddle

Local media is reporting that the Chinese Foreign Ministry has said that Canada has no right to interfere in the case of a Canadian muslim activist sentenced this month to life in prison in China, for alleged terror links.

Canada has been aggressively lobbying for his release and the dispute is expected to come up when Canadian Foreign Minister Peter MacKay visits China at the end of the month.

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