Saving Robert Schellenberg will be a daunting task for Trudeau government

Jan 16 16:01 2019 Print This Article

Karl Nerenberg

A Chinese court has sentenced Canadian Robert Lloyd Schellenberg to death for the crime of drug smuggling, and the Canadian government is taking two tracks in its efforts to save his life.

Even before a regional Chinese court imposed the death sentence, the Trudeau government had asked Chinese authorities to exercise clemency in this case. So far, the response has been anything but favourable. The Chinese have reacted more in resentful and offended anger than in sorrow.

The Canadian government is also taking another tack – by putting pressure on the Chinese by rallying international support for Schellenberg and against the practice of execution.

 As Global Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland put it: "Canada's position when it comes to the death penalty is consistent and very long-standing. We believe it is inhumane and inappropriate. And wherever the death penalty is considered with regard to a Canadian, we speak out against it."

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