The Canadian government is deporting hundreds of people to China each year without receiving any assurances that they will not be tortured or otherwise mistreated, statistics provided to The Globe and Mail reveal.
Canada and China do not have a formal extradition treaty, and the Trudeau government has signalled that it may not complete such a deal out of concern about abuses in the Chinese justice system.
The lack of such a deal has not, however, stopped Canada from sending people back to China. The Canada Border Services Agency has used deportation, expelling 1,386 people to China over the past three years, according to agency statistics.
It’s a process that lawyers, academics and former diplomats say offers too few protections against the mistreatment deportees might endure.
It also places Canada at risk of using evidence rooted in coerced confessions as Canadian authorities make decisions on ejecting people, particularly those sought by Beijing as part of its sweeping global Skynet operation to chase people it calls corrupt fugitives.
When people are returned to a country such as China, “there’s a need for very significant and enforceable assurances about the treatment they will receive and monitoring on the part of Canada – which Canada has not done,” said Sharryn Aiken, an expert on immigration and refugee law at Queen’s University.
“And in the absence of monitoring, people die in jail.”
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