Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou pens heartfelt letter thanking supporters on first anniversary of her arrest

Laws, Politics

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou marked the first anniversary of her arrest in Canada by penning an open letter to her supporters, thanking them for their “warmth” and “kindness.”

Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer, near her Vancouver home in October. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press, via Associated Press)

In the letter, which was written in English and posted on the company’s website on Sunday, Meng said that living under house arrest, while difficult, has allowed her to slow the pace of her life — read a book from cover to cover, complete an oil painting.

“It was never my intention to be stuck here for so long, but I suddenly find that a whole year has snuck by, and here I still am,” she wrote. “If a busy life has eaten away at my time, then hardship has drawn it back out.”

Meng was arrested last year by Canadian authorities in Vancouver, at the behest of U.S. authorities, who have charged her with fraud and allegations of violating sanctions placed on Iran. Currently, she is under partial house arrest at $10 million bail and is closely monitored via an ankle bracelet. 




Meng’s description of her time spent under house arrest paints a stark contrast to the conditions under which Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor have languished since they were arrested by Beijing authorities in May.

Meng Wanzhou, who is out on bail and remains under partial house arrest, wears an electronic monitoring bracelet as she leaves her home to attend a court hearing. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

Their conditions have been described as harsh — the men are subjected to six to eight hours of interrogation a day, are not allowed to go outside and instead spend their time in prison cells where the light is kept on 24 hours a day.

A third Canadian, Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, also remains in a Chinese prison cell after being sentenced to death for drug trafficking in a one-day retrial on Jan. 14. He was previously sentenced to 15 years in prison. 

Canada has condemned the arrests as its new foreign affairs minister, Francois-Philippe Champagne, assured reporters last week that the gaining the freedom of the Canadian captives is his “absolute priority.”

The U.S government has filed 13 criminal charges against Meng, who is the daughter of the company founder, and has argued for her extradition from Canada to face the charges. Both Huawei and Meng have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. 

Meng wrote that her one-year partial detainment has given her time to accept the situation.



“I’m no longer afraid of the unknown,” she said. If anything, the level of “passion and support” offered by crowds waiting outside the courtroom, delivery workers bringing takeout to Huawei officers, customers and suppliers has given her “the fortitude I need to work even harder,” she added. 

“I no longer feel so far from home. I’m no longer afraid of the rough road ahead,” she wrote. “While my personal freedoms have been limited, my soul still seeks to be free. Amidst these setbacks, I’ve found light in the life around me.”

Since her arrest, relations between Canada and China have speedily soured. China has refused to release its Canadian detainees and even suspended imports of Canadian canola and certain meat products earlier this year — the ban on the latter was later lifted. Meanwhile, Ottawa is considering a ban on Huawei products, citing security concerns.

Meng stayed silent on the currently tense political relations between the countries and instead extended her note of thanks to the Canadian correctional officers and inmates at the Alouette Correctional Center for Women, where she was first taken into custody.

“I was able to make it through the worst days of my life” she wrote. 

Meng will continue to remain under house arrest until her extradition hearing, which is scheduled to begin on Jan 20, 2020.

Source: National Post, 2 Dec 2019.

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