MP Ed Fast is calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to “immediately intervene” in the case of Abbotsford native Robert Schellenberg, who has been given a death sentence in China for drug smuggling. (Abbotsford News file photo)

MP Ed Fast calls on PM to intervene in drug-smuggling death sentence in China

Fast says Abbotsford native Robert Schellenberg’s sentence is in retaliation for arrest of Meng Wanzhou

Abbotsford MP Ed Fast says it appears that the government of China is “politicizing” a case involving a former Abbotsford man who has been sentenced to death for drug smuggling.

Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, 36, was convicted today (Monday) in the Dalian Intermediate People’s Court in the Liaoning Province.

“Mr. Schellenberg was originally detained in 2014 and sentenced to 15 years in prison for drug trafficking,” Fast said in a press release.

“It appears from the rush to re-try and re-sentence Mr. Schellenberg that the government of China is politicizing his appeal in retaliation for the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.”

Since the Dec. 1 arrest of Wanzhou, Canada has been subject to retaliatory detentions by the Chinese government.

Dozens of Canadians have been detained on administrative grounds or had their visas questioned, Fast said.

He said he’s calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to immediately intervene.

“The government of Canada needs to outline what steps they are taking to ensure the safety of this Canadian citizen so he does not lose his life over a political dispute,” Fast said.

“While I do not question Mr. Schellenberg’s criminal past or China’s right to govern its own criminal justice system, that does not extend to the use of the death penalty, which Canada fiercely opposes.”

Fast said he said believes that “all Canadians are entitled to due process and protection from cruel and unusual punishment.”

RELATED: Man sentenced to death in China had prior drug convictions in Abbotsford

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