10 December 2018 — Eurasia Future
After summoning the Canadian Ambassador in Beijing, China has now summoned the American Ambassador to discuss the status of Meng Wanzhou – the Chinese political prisoner who remains behind bars in Canada in spite of having committed no wrongdoing. While China has warned Canada of “grave consequences” if Meng is not immediately released, Beijing has told the US to “immediately correct its wrong actions”, as Meng is being unlawfully detained due to American attempts to prosecute her on politicised charges. On the 10th of December – the day that is World Human Rights Day, it is becoming all the more clear just how heinous the US-Canadian plot against Meng has become.
Meng was apprehended by Canadian authorities on the 1st of December in a kidnapping style provocation that US National Security Adviser John Bolton later said he was fully aware of as it was happening. This is significant because at the moment that Meng was kidnapped, Bolton was sitting at a table across from the Chinese President and his delegation at the G20 conference in Argentina where both sides were attempting to reach a consensus on a new trade deal.
But just as the current US President insulted President Xi Jinping during his first visit to the United States under the Trump Presidency in 2017 by launching a reckless attack on Syria in the middle of dinner, now the United States has supremely insulted the dignity of the Chinese people by orchestrating the lawless political imprisonment of Meng Wanzhou on the territory of a self-evidently submissive ally.
Yet although it is clear that Meng’s treatment is the result of an out of control trade war that has now claimed its first human casualty, beyond the vast geopolitical implications of such a trade war remains the fact that an innocent human being is having her human rights violated in the most inhumane way that one could imagine a mother, a daughter and a successful individual could have them violated.
A recent report in China’s Global Times newspaper details the inhumane treatment of Meng Wanzhou in the following way:
“A source familiar with the case told Global Times that since Meng was detained by Canadian police on December 1, she has been subjected to rude and degrading treatment. She was immediately handcuffed at the airport and taken to a detention facility. She was also cuffed on her way to and from hospital from the facility. It is worth noting that Meng was wearing ankle braces when she was taken to the correction center after her first bail hearing.
In the absence of a conviction by trial, Meng was put into restraining devices used on felons. Treating her as a prisoner is not only degrading, but is also a violation of her basic human rights.
Global Times has learnt that Meng had surgery in May to remove her thyroid gland. She also has high blood pressure which requires daily medication. It seems that the Canadian detention facility is not offering her the necessary health care.
Canadian police have treated Meng in such an inhumane way by putting her in handcuffs and ankle braces without conviction. The Chinese public, who are very concerned about this matter, find it hard to believe that Meng was treated in such way, especially in Canada. Canada is a country well-known for emphasizing human rights and the rule of law. How can they do such things that are only done in an uncivilized and barbaric country?
There is no doubt that Canada is on the wrong side in this case. To describe with an old Chinese saying, such behaviors are like holding a candle for the devil. Meng did not violate any Canadian law. US authorities are accusing her of violating US domestic laws, but it is still unknown if the US side can provide sufficient evidence to prove their accusations are valid”.
The way that Meng has been treated over and above the fact that her freedom was taken by a US government hellbent on literally breaking the corporate competition by any means available, is truly appalling at a human level. The behaviour of both the US and Canada is now that of a low-level dictatorship rather than that of major G7 nations who ought to uphold rather than violate the highest standards of international law.
Since her arrest, the Russian government has shown solidarity with Meng and with its Chinese partner. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov described America’s behaviour in the matter in the following way:
“It’s an arrogant, jingoist policy no one accepts. It already sparks rejection even amongst the US’ closest allies. It has to end”.
This itself echoes a statement by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang, who stated:
“We believe this is inhumane and violates her human rights”.
Just as the world expressed a collective outpouring of grief and anger at the horrific murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, so should the world condemn the inhuman and appalling horrific treatment of the innocent woman that is Meng Wanzhou. On World Human Rights Day – this becomes all the more important. One must not lose sight of the very human tragedy to have befallen Meng due to her suffering at the hands of the forces of avarice, inhumanity and wickedness.
Adam Garrie is Director at Eurasia future and co-host of The History Boys with George Galloway.