Fan Wei is the second Canadian citizen to be sentenced to death for drug trafficking within a few months.
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A Chinese court sentenced a Canadian man to death for drug trafficking, prompting a reprimand from the Canadian foreign minister in the midst of diplomatic tensions between Ottawa and Beijing.
The court in the southern province of Guangdong, China, said today that Fan Wei, a Canadian citizen and 10 others, including an American and four Mexicans, were part of an international drug-trafficking organization that operated in Taishan between July and November 2012.
The group produced and sold 63.38 kg (140 pounds) of methamphetamine and 366 grams of dimethylamylamine, a drug used for attention deficit disorder, weight loss and improvement of athletic performance, according to the Jiangmen Intermediate People’s Court.
Fan Wei and a Chinese citizen were sentenced to death.
Death sentences to other foreigners were commuted to life imprisonment.
The convicts have 10 days to appeal the sentence.
It is believed that China performs thousands of people every year, but the data on executions “are classified as state secrets”, according to the group for human rights Amnesty International.
Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland reacted to the sentence, saying that her government is “very worried”.
“Canada stands firmly opposed to the use of the death penalty, everywhere around the world,” she told reporters. “We think that this is a cruel and inhumane punishment which should not be used in any country. We are obviously, particularly concerned when it is applied to Canadians.”
This is the second Canadian to be sentenced to death for drug trafficking in China this year, during a period of increasing tension between the two countries.
The relations between Canada and China have deteriorated since the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s CFO and daughter of the founder of the Chinese technology giant.
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In January, Robert Lloyd Schellenberg was sentenced to death in following a one-day trial after appealing against a previous 15-year sentence in another drug trafficking case.
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