China releases Canadian teacher Sarah McIver, arrested amid furore over detention of Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver
- Sarah McIver, who is now back in Canada, was the third Canadian reportedly detained after the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver
- But McIver’s case differed from those of the other detainees, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, according to both Canada and China
Canada’s government said a Canadian teacher detained in China over a problem with her work permit had been released and was back in Canada.
Albertan Sarah McIver was arrested earlier this month for issues related to her teaching job, but Global Affairs Canada spokesman Richard Walker said Friday that she has returned home.
The Globe and Mail reported that Mclver had assured her family in mid-December that she was fine and would be deported from China within days.
“She’s sweet, she’s kind, she’s happy, she’s so smart – and she just loves different cultures,” the report quoted Jenn Smith, who has known McIver for about a decade, as saying.
“Before she is going on trips, she makes sure everything is in order.”
McIver’s detention followed the arrests of two other Canadians on allegations they were harming China’s national security.
China detained Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor separately after Canada arrested Sabrina Meng Wanzhou, CFO for the Chinese technology company Huawei, in Vancouver on December 1, for possible extradition to the US.
Meng is sought by the US for allegedly lying to banks as part of an effort to evade sanctions on Iran.
Both China and Canada had said McIver’s case differed from those of Kovrig and Spavor.
Meng was released on bail in Vancouver, where she is under private guard at one of the two homes she owns there.
On Saturday, a Chinese court will hear an appeal in the case of a Canadian citizen held on drugs charges, that could further test the tense relations between the two countries.
The high court in the city of Dalian in the northeastern province of Liaoning will hear the appeal of Robert Lloyd Schellenberg at 2pm local time, it said in a statement this week.
A Dalian government news portal said Schellenberg was a Canadian and that this was an appeal hearing after he was found by an earlier ruling to have smuggled “an enormous amount of drugs” into China.
Canada’s government said this week it had been following the case for several years and providing consular assistance, but could provide no other details, citing privacy concerns.
Drugs offences are usually punished severely in China.
Additional reporting by Reuters