Canadian detained in China has been released

Drug offences are routinely punished severely in China. — AFP pic

Alberta teacher Sarah McIver returned to Canada after arrest in China

"Due to the provisions under the Privacy Act, no further information can be disclosed", he said.

Global Affairs Canada, the government department that manages Ottawa's diplomatic and consular relations, confirmed that the Canadian teacher is back home without naming the person.

Until the appeal hearing, it was unclear when Schellenberg had originally been convicted or what his sentence was, but on Saturday the court provided details of the first trial verdict from November.

The detentions came amid a dispute between Canada and China following the arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou earlier this month.

Meng was released on bail in Vancouver earlier this month and faces charges in the United States for violating Iranian sanctions.

On a more positive note, a Canadian government spokesman said on Friday that a Canadian citizen who was detained in China this month had returned to Canada after being released from custody.

Rhona McIver said she believes her niece arrived in China to learn that the school she'd planned to teach at no longer had a job for her, so officials gave her work at another school.

McIver's arrest followed those of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, two Canadians living and working in China, on allegations they were harming China's national security. Schellenberg had appealed after the verdict.

"I would refer you to the competent authority for specifics".

On December 20th, China's foreign ministry announced that the woman was undergoing "administrative punishment" for working in the country illegally.

-With a file from the Canadian Press.

The maximum penalty for drug trafficking in China is death.

Both China and Canada had said McIver's case differed from those of Kovrig and Spavor.

"I can't see inside the judge's head or what his instructions from the party might be, but this is just not a good time. There is potential for party intervention in sensitive cases, in a way that's simply not possible in Canada".

McIver was arrested after Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, two Canadians detained in China on charges that they're a threat to national security.

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