China sentences Canadian to death for drug offenses

A man walks outside an Intermediate People's Court in Tianjin, China December 26, 2018. (REUTERS)
Updated 01 May 2019
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China sentences Canadian to death for drug offenses

  • China has canceled Canadian agribusiness Richardson International Ltd’s registration to ship canola to China this year

BEIJING: A Chinese court sentenced a Canadian national to death on Tuesday for producing and trafficking the addictive stimulant methamphetamine, amid heightened tension between Beijing and Ottawa over the arrest of a Huawei Technologies executive.
Canadian Fan Wei was a leader in the production and trafficking scheme, the Jiangmen Intermediate People’s Court said in a statement.
In response, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland condemned the use of the death penalty, calling it “cruel and inhumane punishment which should not be used in any country.”
“We’re very concerned by this sentence. Canada stands firmly opposed to the use of the death penalty everywhere... We are obviously particularly concerned when it is applied to Canadians,” she told reporters in Ottawa.
Canada’s foreign ministry, in a separate statement, said Canadian officials attended the verdict and sentencing for Fan, and called on China to grant him clemency.
“Global Affairs Canada has been closely following this case and has been providing consular assistance to Mr. Fan and his family since he was first detained in 2012,” it added.
Another suspect, Wu Ziping, was sentenced to death but Wu’s nationality was not given.
The court also issued judgments against nine other people, including one American and four Mexicans.
It did not specify what sentences five of the nine received, though it indicated the minimum they got was life in prison. It said the other four were jailed but did not say for how long.
Court officials could not be reached for comment.
All 11 can appeal their sentences.
Fan is the second Canadian to be sentenced to death for drug offenses in China this year, during a period of escalating tension between the two countries.
In December, Canadian police arrested Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, at the request of US prosecutors.
US prosecutors have portrayed the company as a threat to national security and alleged it conspired to violate US sanctions. Both Meng, who is out on bail, and Huawei deny the allegations.
China recently arrested two Canadians on national security grounds.
China has also canceled Canadian agribusiness Richardson International Ltd’s registration to ship canola to China this year.


Indian doctors strike over violence from patients and families

Updated 1 min 52 sec ago
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Indian doctors strike over violence from patients and families

NEW DELHI: Tens of thousands of Indian doctors went on strike Monday calling for more protection against violence by patients and their families, as parliament met for the first time since national elections.
The nationwide strike, which will last until Tuesday morning, is in solidarity with doctors in the eastern state of West Bengal after three were viciously attacked by the relatives of a man who died.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA), representing 350,000 of India’s 900,000 doctors, called for tougher punishments for those assaulting medical staff.
Blaming the attacks in part on “high expectations” by patients, poor infrastructure and inadequate staffing, the IMA said hospitals should have more security cameras and that the entry of visitors to hospitals should be restricted.
The strike, which does not include emergency services, takes place as parliament convened for the first time since Prime Minister Narendra Modi was re-elected in a landslide last month.
Doctors in West Bengal’s capital Kolkata have been on strike since last Monday, when a family assaulted three doctors after a relative died during treatment at a state-run hospital.
The family, who blamed the death on negligence by the doctors, lashed out violently and left two of the medical staff critically injured.
The strike in West Bengal, which has also been wracked by weeks of political violence with almost 20 people killed, has crippled medical services for the state’s 90 million people.
On Monday doctors in the state were due to discuss the strike with Mamata Banerjee, the state premier and fierce Modi opponent.
India spends less than two percent of its GDP on health care, making it one of the lowest investors in the sector globally, with the World Health Organization placing it below both Iraq and Venezuela.
However, Modicare — a quietly successful part of Modi’s surprising re-election — is a huge public health initiative set to benefit the poorest.