U.S., European diplomats support Canada in Chinese court in death-penalty appeal

Canadian diplomats were joined in a Chinese courtroom today by American, British, French and German colleagues to watch the appeal of a Canadian who has been sentenced to death for smuggling drugs.

The show of solidarity did not diminish Canadian worries over the fate of Robert Schellenberg of British Columbia.

Global Affairs said in a statement it remains extremely concerned about China's decision to impose the death penalty on Schellenberg at his Jan. 14 retrial, as it also thanked Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and the Czech Republic for sending their representatives to the hearing.

The department says the death penalty is cruel and inhumane punishment.

Schellenberg's new sentence was meted out six weeks after the RCMP detained Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on a U.S. extradition warrant, plunging Sino-Canadian diplomatic relations to a new low.

It was not clear when the Chinese court would rule on Schellenberg's appeal.