Former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig, who has been in contact with the outside world for the first time since January, has been detained in China for nearly two years. The Canadian ambassador in Beijing succeeded in obtaining permission to hold a virtual meeting on Saturday.
According to his wife, Fina Najibola,
Kovrig was shocked by the details of the coronavirus pandemic and said the whole thing sounded like some kind of zombie apocalypse movie.“We are very proud that despite his long captivity, Michael’s spirituality and determination, but even his sense of humor has not been interrupted,” Vina Njibula is quoted by the Guardian as saying. “We will continue to do everything in our power to bring him home.”
The Canadian diplomat also managed to contact businessman Michael Spavor, who was arrested at the same time as Kovrig. Both were charged with espionage in June, but Western governments say China is simply retaliating because in December 2018, Canadian authorities arrested Ming Van Chute, chief financial officer of Chinese tech and telecommunications giant Huawei, in Vancouver. US authorities suspect Meng and Huawei doing business with Iran in violation of US sanctions.
Kovrig also holds Hungarian citizenship and lived in Budapest in the 1990s and was a journalist for Budapest Week. In addition, from 1996-99 she was a singer in the bankruptcy band.
“Wannabe writer. Passionate troublemaker. Award-winning beer buff. Freelance organizer. Friendly tv practitioner. Music maven.”