Canadian man in isolation in Chinese prison since January says Covid sounds like a zombie apocalypse movie
The coronavirus pandemic sounds like a zombie apocalypse movie, former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig - who has been jailed in China since 2018 and in isolation since January 2020 - said last week after finding out about the virus.
Kovrig and another Canadian national Michael Spavor were arrested in December 2018 and charged with espionage a year later. Their detention is considered China’s reply to Canada’s arrest of Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, who is also the daughter of its founder. She was arrested in December 2018 in Vancouver on the basis of United States’ extradition warrant.
Last week, Canadian government officials in China were granted virtual consular access to the duo on separate days and found out about the virus for the first time.
In a statement released after the visit, Kovrig’s family said that he was particularly heartened by reassurances regarding the health of everyone in the family and the ongoing efforts to secure his freedom. They said he was “astonished to learn about the details of the COVID-19 pandemic and remarked that it all sounded like some zombie apocalypse movie".
The family said that they are “extremely proud that despite his long confinement, Michael's spirit, determination — and even his sense of humour — remain unbroken.”
Kovrig’s family has been actively campaigning for his release. In June 2020, his wife Vina Nadjibulla supported a letter by former parliamentarians and diplomats that sought Meng Wanzhou’s release to secure Kovrig’s release.