As China continues to press for the release of tech company Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, it is attacking Canada – calling her arrest “inhumane.”
The claim comes as Canada ranks in the top-five countries in the Human Freedom Index, a global ranking of human rights and freedoms of 165 countries by the Fraser Institute and its global partners.
A headline in a Communist Party newspaper called Canada’s treatment of Meng, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies, “inhumane.”
The editorial published in Monday’s Global Times followed formal government protests to the ambassadors of both Canada and the United States over the weekend.
Meng was arrested in Vancouver on Dec. 1 for charges relating to violating U.S. sanctions on Iran. She faces extradition to the U.S. if Canada’s justice minister deems the case worthy.
In the Human Freedom Index, Fraser Institute fellow Fred McMahon accused China of a pattern of behaviour that attacks foreign countries like Canada in “an attempt to stifle free discussion.”
“China attacks both Chinese and non-Chinese opponents abroad in attempts to stifle free discussion, again with Australia and New Zealand as prime and proximal targets, but with such activity occurring in far-distant Canada and other nations as well,” McMahon wrote in the report.
The Chinese editorial also claimed the “Canadian detention facility is not offering her the necessary health care,” but did not provide any evidence.
In an affidavit obtained by Global News, Meng said she was taken to Richmond General Hospital for treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure) after being detained.
Other court documents say Meng is currently being provided medicine by her own doctor daily.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang repeated the claim, saying it was “totally up to Canada” what the consequences would be if it did not “correctly handle” the situation with Meng.
For her part, Meng said she was worried about the deterioration of her condition.
“I continue to feel unwell and I am worried about my health deteriorating while I am incarcerated,” she said in the affidavit.
The bail hearing for Meng will continue Monday and a decision is expected to come later this week.
Global News reached out to Canada’s Department of Justice about the allegations but hasn’t heard back by publication.
But McMahon told Global News that while he doesn’t know details on the specific case, “our system generally provides people the medical care they need.”
He also explained that because China’s judicial system isn’t separate from politics, officials may assume the arrest of Meng is a political arrest.
But Trudeau has previously said there was no political involvement in the decision to detain Meng.
“The appropriate authorities took the decisions in this case,” Trudeau told reporters. “We were advised by them with a few days notice that this was in the works, but of course, there was no engagement or involvement at the political level in this decision because we respect the independence of our judicial processes.”
Human Freedom Index
China ranked in the bottom group of countries included in the report – 132 on the list.
China scored a ranking of 5.2 out of 10 in the “expression and information” category, with its lowest results in “Laws and regulations that influence media” (0/10), “political pressure, control of media” (1.5/10) and “freedom of access to foreign information” (2.5/10).
“It would be not surprising at all that China would make accusations whether founded or not,” McMahon told Global News, adding that China’s judicial system is very different from Canada’s.
“People in China will simply believe that Canada is violating human rights because except for a small minority of people, they don’t get outside media,” he said.
As for Canada, it ranked in the top-five countries. New Zealand ranked No. 1, while Syria took the bottom spot.