Albertan teacher detained in China released, is back in Canada

Arturo Kim
January 1, 2019

An appeals court agreed with prosecutors who said Schellenberg was punished too leniently when he was sentenced to 15 years in prison on charges of being an accessory to drug smuggling.

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 Higher People's Court of the northeastern province of Liaoning says evidence showed it was possible Schellenberg played an "important role" as it ordered the court in the city of Dalian to try the case again.

Though no link has been officially made, the arrests seem to be in retaliation to Canada's December 1 arrest of Meng Wanzhou, a top executive at Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei She was detained on a request from the United States, which has accused her of violating sanctions of Iran. It added that Canadian diplomats were in court for the appeal.

A Chinese government news portal,, identified Schellenberg as Canadian and said he was accused of smuggling an "enormous amount" of drugs.

When McIver arrived in China, the school she was supposed to teach at no longer had work for her, so Chinese authorities gave her a job somewhere else, according to Rhona.

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Authorities have released no details of the accusations against Schellenberg.

Both China and Canada had said McIver's case was not related to those of Kovrig and Spavor, who were detained on allegations of harming China's national security.

On December 20th, China's foreign ministry announced that the woman was undergoing "administrative punishment" for working in the country illegally.

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.

Meng is sought by the USA for allegedly lying to banks as part of an effort to evade sanctions on Iran.

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