East Turkestan: Canadians Demand Contact with Activist Jailed in China
During his visit to
Below is an article published by CTV.ca:
Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay says
In February, Celil told a Chinese court that he had been starved and deprived of sleep, his family claims.
MacKay said he urged that Canadian diplomats be allowed to meet with Celil and check into such claims.
"We'd very much like to have access ourselves to make that determination, and what I can assure you is that we will continue to insist upon this access," he said.
Celil, who belongs to the Uighur Muslim minority of far western
A Chinese court found him guilty last week of convicted for the two crimes of "separating
He had been picked up in
Steve Chao, CTV's
"MacKay's first focal effort was to try and improve strained relations, relations strained since the Harper government took over and Harper began to condemn China for many of its human rights abuses, including the Celil case," he said.
Before last November's APEC summit, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he wouldn't "sell out" on human rights to promote trade with
"Hopefully Mr. Harper has learned a lesson, that throwing bricks from
Chao said people charged with similar crimes to Celil's have been executed.
"There is a possibility that
"This time around the delegation also suggested to Chinese officials that perhaps Celil could be exiled to
"No one is sure if that will happen, but it was raised in meetings today," he said.
A Uighur woman accused of similar crimes to Celil's served five years in a Chinese prison before being exiled to the
During his four-hour meeting, MacKay said he also discussed other issues including environmental protection, health, enhancing co-operation in
MacKay will next visit