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‘Please inform me the place my father is’: Toronto girl seeks launch of Chinese language human rights activist detained in Vietnam


The daughter of a lacking Chinese language human rights activist pleaded publicly with the Canadian authorities Thursday to strain Vietnam and China to disclose his whereabouts.

“Please inform me the place my father is,” Katherine Dong mentioned by way of tears at a information convention on Parliament Hill.

“Please enable the Canadian authorities to go to him instantly and let him come to Canada, to the place our household is, with none additional delay,”

Dong Guangping, 64, was accepted for resettlement to Canada as a refugee in 2015, however was denied permission to depart China and reunite together with his household in Toronto.

His daughter mentioned he escaped to Vietnam, the place he had been in hiding for greater than two years when he was arrested there on Aug. 24. She mentioned his household in Canada has not heard from him for 86 days.

Alex Neve, a senior fellow on the College of Ottawa and a human rights advocate, mentioned it’s “fairly a diplomatic slap” that Vietnam isn’t offering info to Canada about Dong’s standing.

“We have now been informed, and we’re assured, that each the prime minister and the minister of overseas affairs have raised the case, at some mixture of the assorted summits they’ve been attending. It’s our understanding that they approached each Chinese language and Vietnamese governments,” mentioned Neve, who accompanied Katherine Dong on the information convention. “We’re informed that it was forceful.”

Neve mentioned senior authorities officers have assured the household this case can be raised in talks in South Asia. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and International Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly have been within the area this week for the G20 and ASEAN worldwide summits.

However for the second, Katherine Dong mentioned, “I used to be informed by the Canadian authorities that they now not have any information from Vietnamese officers about my father.”

Neve mentioned Canadian officers should make it completely clear that not responding to their questions on Dong isn’t acceptable.

“This isn’t only a diplomatic disagreement. The destiny, the well-being and doubtlessly the freedom of a person for a few years to return is at stake,” Neve mentioned.

“Canada calls for solutions to a quite simple query: ‘The place is he?’”

A spokesperson for International Affairs mentioned Canada is able to assist get Dong to Toronto, however that Vietnam isn’t responding.

“Canada is deeply nervous about Mr. Dong’s security and well-being and has been elevating our considerations on the highest ranges. Officers are working to determine his whereabouts, together with by way of diplomatic engagement with each Vietnam and China,” Grantly Franklin informed the Star.

“Canada urges the federal government of Vietnam to respect his refugee standing and its worldwide obligations for human rights. Our authorities will proceed to help human rights defenders around the globe.”

The Vietnamese and Chinese language embassies didn’t reply to the Star’s request for remark.

Katherine Dong mentioned her father was born right into a rich navy household in China, the place his father was a basic and his brothers have been colonels. He turned a police inspector and later a human-rights activist after serving as a soldier himself.

She mentioned Dong had been jailed in China thrice for talking out in opposition to the federal government, together with concerning the Tiananmen Sq. demonstrations of 1989.

“My father is a brave survivor. He gave up a cushty life to battle for human rights, for a greater life for youngsters like me,” she mentioned.

On Tuesday, Trudeau and Chinese language President Xi Jinping spoke on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali. A readout of the unofficial dialog issued by the Prime Minister’s Workplace mentioned they mentioned the detention of two Canadians by China and Canada’s arrest of a Huawei govt, in addition to Trudeau’s considerations about alleged Chinese language interference in Canada’s 2019 federal election.

“Canada wants to have the ability to have interaction constructively and immediately, whereas on the identical time be there to problem on human rights and values that matter to Canadians,” Trudeau later informed reporters on the summit as he acknowledged China’s important function within the international economic system and affect on world occasions.

In 2020, Canada drew a rebuke from China for suggesting it may provide asylum to protesters in Hong Kong amid a crackdown there by Chinese language authorities.

“We strongly urge the Canadian facet not (to) grant so-called political asylum to these violent criminals in Hong Kong,” ambassador Cong Peiwu mentioned in a video information convention from the Chinese language embassy in Ottawa.

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