Huawei CFO arrested in 2018 for going against US sanctions in Iran
By Jessica Berget, Assistant Editor
It was later revealed that the protestors were actually paid actors who were told they were to be playing background extras in a movie.
On December 1, Vancouver is Awesome reported that “Free Meng Wanzhou” protests were taking place in Vancouver to contest her extradition. Indeed, the “Free Meng Wanzhou” campaign is organized by left-leaning groups such as Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War, World Beyond War, and the Canadian Foreign Policy Institute. According to their website, protests are being held in seven other Canadian cities as a “Cross Canada Campaign to Free Meng Wanzhou.”
Wanzhou was the Chief Financial Officer for Huawei Technologies and was arrested in the Vancouver International Airport on December 1, 2018. Her arrest was requested by the US citing fraud in international sanctions against Iran and they want to see her extradited to the US. Within the same month, she made her $10 million bail and is now under house arrest in her property in Vancouver. Nine days after her arrest, Chinese authorities arrested and detained Michael Spavor, a Canadian entrepreneur, and Michael Kovrig, a former Canadian diplomat who now faces charges for allegedly spying. Both are being held in jails in China. Many believe this was done in retaliation for Wanzhou’s arrest. Another Canadian, Robert Schellenberg, was sentenced to death in China one month after her arrest for alleged drug smuggling charges, though he has maintained his innocence since his arrest in 2014.
The Hamilton Coalition website states the protest in Vancouver was held at 2112 West Broadway outside of Liberal MP’s Joyce Murray’s office. They also claim the Vancouver Peace Council and Red Braid Alliance attended the protest making 20 participants in total. The group claims that releasing Wanzhou would improve China and Canada’s relationship and steer Canada away from a possible cold war with China. Protests were held on December 1 to commemorate the day Wanzhou was arrested.
That’s not the only “Free Meng Wanzhou” protest to happen this year. In January, a similar protest was held at the BC Supreme Court. It was later revealed that the protestors were actually paid actors who were told they were to be playing background extras in a movie. It was when reporters showed up and started questioning them that they understood what was going on. “A CBS reporter approached me and my friend and she started interviewing us. And it was in those moments and questions where I started realizing, okay, if this was background work, they wouldn’t need detail on background people,” said Julia Hackstaff in a CBC article, one of the paid actors who participated in the protest. “And then I started realizing, wait, no one called ‘action.’” In November, there were also online events known as “Zoom to free Meng Wanzhou” held with political leaders such as Green Party’s Paul Manly and NDP’s Niki Ashton in attendance as a speaker.
On November 24, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he stands behind Canada arresting Wanzhou. “Do I regret that Canada followed its laws? Do I regret that Canada lived up to a long-standing extradition treaty with our closest ally? Absolutely not.”