Canadian detained in China freed

Alberta teacher Sarah McIver returned to Canada after arrest in China

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McIver, who was detained and sentenced to administrative punishment for illegal employment, was teaching English at a school somewhere in China (the exact region she was working in has not been made public).

According to news reports, Canadian government spokesperson did not give further details over detained citizen release and return to Canada.

McIver's arrest followed those of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, two Canadians living and working in China, on allegations they were harming China's national security.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying has treated McIver's case much more briskly when it's come up in the ministry's daily news conferences.

A Chinese court ordered a retrial of a Canadian citizen on drug smuggling charges on Saturday after prosecutors said his sentence of 15 years was too light - a case that could further test relations between Beijing and Ottawa.

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There has been speculation that Korvig and Spavor's detainment was done in retaliation by China over Canada's role in arresting Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, but the Canadian Government has not confirmed this.

Kovrig is a Canadian diplomat on leave from the foreign service to work with the anti-war International Crisis Group, travelling through China as a researcher and analyst.

The sentencing of foreign drug dealers in China has drawn a lot of attention overseas and some foreign governments strongly oppose the results, but Chinese judicial principle is never affected, which rules that "anyone who commits crimes in the territory of China would be judged equally as said by China's Criminal Law", Ruan Qilin, a professor at the China University of Political Science and Law, told the Global Times on Thursday.

The last foreigner to be tried for drug smuggling was British national Akmal Shaikh, who was caught in 2007 while smuggling over 4 kilograms of heroin into China.

According to a court statement published online after the appeal hearing, he was found guilty of drug smuggling and was sentenced to 15 years in prison, ordered to pay about $22,000 (150,000 yuan) and to be deported. He has also not been allowed to apply for bail or see a lawyer.

Rhona McIver said Sarah's mother and sister have driven to B.C.to pick her up.

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