OTTAWA – The Government of Canada must act to secure the release of Canadian citizen Kevin Garratt, who was indicted by the Chinese government today, said Official Opposition Foreign Affairs critic, Tony Clement, and International Human Rights critic, David Anderson.
Following news of Mr. Garratt's indictment, Clement and Anderson issued the following statement:
“It is the height of irony, that as the Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister were celebrating with Chinese diplomats at an event in Ottawa last night, Kevin Garratt sat in a Chinese jail, uncertain of the fate awaiting him. Mr. Garratt has been unfairly detained in China since the summer of 2014, and his indictment today raises serious questions about the recent lack of information on his status."
"This case has been concerning to Canadians for many months. We are also deeply concerned for Mr. Garratt's wife, Julia, who remains under a form of house arrest in China. We are urging the Government of Canada to use every diplomatic avenue available to advocate on behalf of the Garratts."
"The Conservative caucus is also concerned that Mr. Garratt's indictment may be part of a broader crackdown by Beijing on international NGO personnel operating in China. We call on the Government to raise these issues with the Chinese as often as possible."
Kevin and Julia Garratt, from Vancouver, have resided in China since 1984. Starting in 2008, they ran a coffee shop in Dandong. They also conducted Christian aid work for North Koreans. Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper and a number of former Conservative Ministers personally and consistently raised the Garratts' case on numerous occasions to Chinese officials, including an official trip to China in 2014.