Huawei CFO deserves better treatment

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Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou (L), who was arrested on an extradition warrant, appears at her B.C. Supreme Court bail hearing in a drawing in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada December 7, 2018. REUTERS/Jane Wolsak

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies, had her bail hearing Friday in the British Columbia Supreme Court in Vancouver, Canada. The hearing was adjourned with no decision made on bail, and will resume today.

Court reporters said she was not handcuffed for the hearing and was wearing a green sweatsuit. She seems to be getting humane treatment, but these are only illusions on the surface.

A source familiar with the case told Global Times that since Ms Meng was detained by Canadian police on December 1, she has been subjected to rude and degrading treatment. She was immediately handcuffed at the airport and taken to a detention facility. She was also cuffed on her way to and from hospital from the facility. It is worth noting that Ms Meng was wearing ankle braces when she was taken to the correction center after her first bail hearing.

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In the absence of a conviction by trial, Ms Meng was put into restraining devices used on felons. Treating her as a prisoner is not only degrading, but is also a violation of her basic human rights.

Global Times has learnt that Ms Meng had surgery in May to remove her thyroid gland. She also has high blood pressure which requires daily medication. It seems that the Canadian detention facility is not offering her the necessary health care.

Canadian police have treated Ms Meng in such an inhumane way by putting her in handcuffs and ankle braces without conviction. The Chinese public, who are very concerned about this matter, find it hard to believe that Ms Meng was treated in such way, especially in Canada. Canada is a country well-known for emphasising human rights and the rule of law. How can they do such things that are only done in an uncivilized and barbaric country?

There is no doubt that Canada is on the wrong side in this case. To describe with an old Chinese saying, such behaviors are like holding a candle for the devil. Ms Meng did not violate any Canadian law. US authorities are accusing her of violating US domestic laws, but it is still unknown if the US side can provide sufficient evidence to prove their accusations are valid.

The Canadian prosecution accused Ms Meng of being a director in a subsidiary that was decoupled from Huawei, and that the company has sold computer equipment to Iran in violation of US sanctions on Iran. There is huge controversy over the facts as stated by the prosecution. In any case, even if the US found some so-called evidence, the nature of such a case still leaves a lot of room for legal debate.

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As of now, most of the cases concerning foreign companies violating US bans on Iran have been dealt with by fines and sanctions. And it is not just one or two companies – many European companies have been involved. The EU still encourages European companies not to withdraw from Iran. Does that mean executives from these companies should all be arrested and put into detention in Canada when they transit through the country, and should they all be handcuffed?

Canada is an independent sovereign nation. Although its relationship with the US is quite special, it should remain neutral in dealing with Ms Meng’s case, and not simply do whatever the US has told it to do.

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