Canadian man in isolation in Chinese prison since January says Covid sounds like a zombie apocalypse movie
Michael Kovrig, right, seen here as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks out against his incarceration in China (POOL / AFP via Getty Images)
The coronavirus pandemic sounds like a zombie apocalypse movie, said former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig, who has been incarcerated in China since 2018 and has been in isolation since January 2020, last week after learning of the virus.
Kovrig and another Canadian citizen, Michael Spavor, were arrested in December 2018 and charged with espionage a year later. Her detention is believed to be China's response to Canada's arrest of Huawei's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, who is also its founder's daughter. She was arrested in Vancouver in December 2018 on United States extradition orders.
Last week, Canadian government officials in China were given virtual consular access to the duo on various days and learned about the virus for the first time.
In a statement released after the visit, Kovrig's family said he was particularly encouraged by assurances regarding the health of all family members and ongoing efforts to secure his freedom. They said he was "amazed at the details of the COVID-19 pandemic and noticed it all sound like a zombie apocalypse movie".
The family said they "take great pride in the fact that Michael's spirit, determination - and even his sense of humor - remain unbroken despite his long imprisonment."
“This is definitely something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving weekend. And of course we will continue to focus on doing everything we can to get Michael home. We are deeply grateful for the support and solidarity of all Canadians, "said a statement from the CBC.
Kovrig's family actively campaigned for his release. In June 2020, his wife Vina Nadjibulla endorsed a letter from former parliamentarians and diplomats seeking the release of Meng Wanzhou in order to secure the release of Kovrig.
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