April 19, 2007
The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic
Canada Opportunities Agency, today issued the following statement regarding the
Chinese court sentence against Huseyincan Celil, the Canadian citizen who has been
detained in China since his extradition from Uzbekistan in June 2006:
“It is with deep disappointment that we learn that Mr. Celil has been sentenced to life
imprisonment by a Chinese court. Chinese authorities have persistently refused to
respond adequately to our concerns with respect to due process for this Canadian
citizen. They have also failed to allow Canadian officials the opportunity to provide
consular assistance to Mr. Celil, in spite of repeated requests.
“The Government of Canada remains gravely concerned about allegations that Mr. Celil
has been mistreated while in Chinese custody and possibly subjected to torture. This
could constitute a serious breach of the United Nations Convention against Torture, to
which both Canada and China are parties. We call upon the Government of China to
investigate these claims promptly and impartially, and to ensure that Mr. Celil’s rights
are adequately protected.
“As we believe that China did not live up to the spirit of the 1999 Canada-China
consular agreement in this case, we will be conducting a review of this agreement to
determine whether it is, in fact, an effective means of safeguarding Chinese-Canadian
dual citizens travelling on Canadian passports.
“We strongly urge the Chinese authorities to respect their commitment to provide
Canadian officials with information about Mr. Celil, and to ensure that he is accorded
due process. The Canadian Embassy in Beijing is following the situation closely and will
continue to monitor developments.”
Minister MacKay registered Canada’s concerns with the Chinese Chargé d’affaires this
morning. The Minister also spoke with Mr. Celil's spouse, Kamila Telendibaeva, to
assure her that Canada will continue to pursue justice for Mr. Celil.
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